In a bid to give a boost to animation, gaming and VFX (visual effects imagery), the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is involving players from the industry in a big way in evolving a policy that helps them realise their true potential.
A 13-member task force has been constituted to dwell upon various issues concerning these sectors. The committee headed by I&B Additional Secretary Rajiv Takru has been given freedom to evolve a methodology to ensure the widest possible consultations on a 14-point charter in the terms of reference and submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting.
Besides Director (Films) as member secretary and the Joint Secretary (Films) as a member, others from the industry are: Mahesh Samath (Walt Disney [ Images ] India [ Images ]), Ashish Kulkarni (Big Animation Reliance [ Get Quote ]), Tapash Chakravarty (DQ Entertainment), Rajesh Rao (Dhruva Games), Vishal Gondal (UTV India Games), A K Madhavan (Crest Animation Studios [ Get Quote ]), Jaspreet Bindra (Microsoft [ Images ]), Munjal Shroff (Graphiti Multimedia), S Nagarajan (Visual Computing Lab, Tata ELXSI [ Get Quote ]), and Leena Jaisani (FICCI).
The committee has been asked to explore how to promote the locally produced animation contents in foreign markets, with the possibility of grants from the Market Development Assistance (MDA) scheme of the Department of Commerce. It will also examine need to extend the co-production treaties not limited to only films but extended to these new sectors as well.
Entertainment tax exemption for children and animation feature films for 10 years, service tax exemption to studios developing original contents, rationalised customs tarriff for the gaming industry, promotion of indigenous digital content education and entertainment for masses and setting up of multiple parks for the sector on the SEZ model are some of the issues the committee will be examining.
It has also been asked to suggest guidelines for standardising and promoting higher education in animation and gaming and how to spread awareness about their potential among the people.
Localisation of animation contents, specialised programming for children in Asia and specifically in India and original Indian animations acquiring equal space not only against the Indian films but also against animated global content are some other areas set for the committee to study in the terms of reference.