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Ease rules for NRI film investors: Suniel Shetty

October 27, 2004 20:04 IST

In a bid to woo foreign filmmakers -- including Non-Resident Indians -- well-known film actor-turned-producer Suniel Shetty on Wednesday sought help of the government to simplify procedures and create a single-window clearance system for such investors.

Shetty, who met Tourism Minister Renuka Chowdhury in New Delhi, discussed the possibility of setting up a single-window clearance system so that these filmmakers do not have to take permission from multiple authorities while travelling through different states for their projects.

Besides wooing the foreign filmmakers, the actor, who also heads an event management company called Popcorn Entertainment, wants to use Bollywood to promote tourism in India and is planning to introduce a package called 'Bollywood Trail'.

The package will attempt to give visitors a feel of the Bollywood magic on a scale much grander than the tour of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Shetty said.

"We want to take tourists and film-makers to places across the country made famous by Bollywood movies. The problem lies with the huge number of authorities from whom permission has to be taken to organise film shoots or simply to travel from one state to another," he said.

If a one-stop point can be established to get all the permissions, India can attract thousands of tourists who want a touch of Bollywood, Shetty said.

"We are estimating that 100,000 Non-Resident Indians will come here in just the first year if this can be done. Considering that millions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa and elsewhere are mad about India thanks to Bollywood movies, the numbers could be staggering," he said.

If the procedures are simplified, even Hollywood producers may look at India as a viable option for shooting movies.

"Considering that they spend phenomenal amounts on their movies, imagine the likely gains for the Indian industry," the actor said.

Shetty said it was only because of the single-window clearance available in Switzerland that it had become so popular with Indian filmmakers.

Chowdhury, who had met Shetty on the issue in Mumbai once earlier, said it was a serious problem and required urgent attention.

Chowdhury said she would discuss setting up the single-window clearance with concerned authorities.

"There is no place in the world more beautiful than India but because of procedural problems, we are losing out," Shetty said.

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