Hasan greeted for imposing extra fee on making ads with foreign artists

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DHAKA, June 10, 2021 (BSS) – Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud was congratulated today for reforming a policy imposing additional fee on making advertisements and films with foreign artists.

Representatives of the country’s artist community met the minister at his Secretariat office here this afternoon and expressed their heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to him.

Obhinoy Shilpi Sangha president Shahiduzzaman Selim, Bangladesh Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti president Misha Saudagar and its general secretary Zayed Khan, filmmaker and playwright SA Haque Alik and actress Tarin Jahan spoke on the occasion.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Md Mokbul Hossain was present.

Speaking at the meeting, Hasan, also the Awami League joint general secretary, said it is the state’s responsibility to protect the local artists.

“A large number of advertisements broadcasted on our televisions have been made by artists from other countries and these artists are not grade-one ones. They are artists of second and third grades,” he said.

On the other hand, the information minister said, the local models and artists look beautiful, smart and perform well while acting in commercials.

“In some advertisements, our artists have acted so beautifully and portrayed subjects in such a way that those are overwhelmed to watch and put deep marks in minds,” he said.

Hasan said they believe that the artists of the country have the talent to go abroad and act in commercials.

It is not the government’s intention to restrict foreign artists or stop films or advertisements made abroad, but its goal is to protect the country’s artists, he said.

“At first, we thought of imposing Taka five lakh in making a film (and advertisement) with foreign artists, but later we thought many artists do not get Taka five lakh for their works. Considering it, the fee for foreign artists is now set at Taka two lakh, excluding VAT and income tax,” the minister said.

And the TV channels, which will broadcast the commercials, will have to pay Taka 20,000 each to the government for one time, he said. “Without those, there is no change in the policy introduced in 1999,” he added.

Hasan said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done a lot of works for the welfare of the artists.

He said the proposed Bangladesh Film Artists’ Welfare Trust Act was formulated and it is now in the parliamentary standing committee for scrutiny.

Shahiduzzaman Selim termed the reform of this policy as a landmark step of the information minister which will protect the country’s arts and culture and artists.

Replying a question after the meeting, Hasan said: “I knew that BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was a gentleman. I don’t understand why he suddenly started distorting my name. Most probably he lost his patience as he was frustrated over their politics.”

Additional secretary (administration and film) of the ministry Khadija Begum, general secretary of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote Arun Sarkar Rana, and actresses Tanveen Sweety, Mishti Jannat, Simla, Bipasha Kabir, Nijhum Rubina and Antu Karim also joined the meeting.