Cinema halls have been renovated with a loan of crores of rupees and new cinema halls have been built, but the cinema owners have demanded the import of Indian movies, fearing losses as there are no movies to run in the halls; Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud has assured their cooperation in resolving the crisis.
Leaders of the Bangladesh Film Exhibitors’ Association raised their demands at an exchange meeting with the minister at the Information and Publication Department in Dhaka on Thursday.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting said that the number of commercial movies in the country has been increased with the help of government grants; Besides, Indian movies can also be imported for a limited time.
Bangladesh Bank on February 14 last year set up a refinancing fund of Tk 1,000 crore to provide low interest loans to the owners of the halls with the aim of bringing back the lost past of the country’s cinema by modernizing the theaters. Under which the owners of the halls are getting maximum loan of Tk 10 crore for the construction of cinema halls.
The application for a low interest loan from this fund was scheduled for March 31; That deadline has been extended to December 31.
In the meantime, 53 hall owners have applied for construction and renovation of new cinema halls, but the rest are hesitant, said Sudipta Kumar Das, advisor to the exhibitors’ association.
The top leader of the hall owners said in the meeting, “Hall owners are very interested in taking loans. But if you want to repay the loan with interest, you have to repay the picture. There is no possibility of repaying the loan by continuing the pictures that are being made in the country now. That’s why the owners are in a state of flux. ”
Sudipta has demanded that Indian cinema be allowed to release in the country’s cinema halls for a limited time to resolve the crisis.
He has been making this demand for several years. In his commentary, “When the audience returns to the cinema hall, there will be no complication in repaying the debts of the hall owners; Others will also be interested in building cinema halls. ”
Apart from Sudipta Kumar Das, Mia Alauddin, the head of Sathi Cinema Hall, Safar Ali Bhuiyan, the owner of Abhisar Cinema Hall and many others also demanded to increase the production of Indian movies and import Indian movies.
Hasan Mahmood, who was present as the chief guest at the meeting on the demand, said that the number of movie donations has been increased as compared to the past; The number of commercial movies has also increased. The obligation to release 20 movies has been covered. As a result, the number of movies in the country is increasing more than before.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting said that there is no problem in importing Indian movies; But before that, he urged all the organizations involved in the film to reach a consensus.
“Exhibitors and directors have agreed to import movies from the subcontinent. The artist association still disagrees. Talking to everyone, if the cinema of the subcontinent is released at 10-12 o’clock, the cinema halls will also be better. ”
The Information Minister said, “Even during the Indo-Pakistani war, regular Indian movies were released in Pakistan. Earlier there was an obstacle to release, later that obstacle has been removed. Now their (Pakistani) cinema is much better than before. ”
The information minister said that the owners of the hall can be enterprising to repay the loan if they want from the income earned by constructing a commercial building with the cinema hall and renting the shop.
He said, “If the Cineplex has other facilities including food court and market, the owners will be able to repay the loan not only from the hall but also from the income from there.”
The meeting was chaired by Information Secretary Maqbool Hossain and was attended by representatives of various banks including Bangladesh Bank and Rupali Bank.
During the exchange of views, many of the owners demanded that the term of the loan be extended from 6 years to two years with a grace period of one year; At the same time, many have demanded to reduce the interest rate from 5% in urban areas and 4% in rural areas.
Maksuda Begum, general manager of Bangladesh Bank, assured to look into the matter seriously.