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Thursday, June 13, 2024  
06 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Jamal Shah claims PDM govt didn’t spend funds for film industry in ‘right direction’

National Heritage and Culture says if he had funds, at least 20 films would have been produced by now
Caretaker National Heritage and Culture Jamal Shah addresses an event organised by the Wonder Woman Association in Karachi on November 12, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News
Caretaker National Heritage and Culture Jamal Shah addresses an event organised by the Wonder Woman Association in Karachi on November 12, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News

Caretaker National Heritage and Culture Jamal Shah has claimed that the previous coalition government did not spend the allocated funds for the film industry in the right direction.

In an event organised by the Wonder Woman Association in Karachi on Saturday, he said that former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb kept the allocated funds in the information ministry but did not spend on the film industry.

“So they got a lot of funds and they were kept in the information ministry. They conducted some useless progress like icon awards. They might have spent a lot of money by summoning their favourites, but they did not spend in the right direction.”

The minister added that the two Rs2 billion allocated to them was with caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi. “If it was with me, it would have been spent until now. At least 20 films could have been financed.”

Shah, who claimed that he had approved Pakistan’s first film and culture policy, had advised former prime minister Nawaz Sharif that at least 4,000 cinemas were needed for a country of more than 240 million people.

“In these 4,000 cinemas, 80% should be those where common people can buy a ticket and have entertainment until then your film industry will stand on its feet as such number cinema will demand content and filmmakers will make films.”

Shah added that the film industry was a healthy business.

He lamented that artists in Pakistan were not given the required respect and perks like judges and government servants. He mentioned that Rs1.2 million was the pension of retired judges excluding other perks whereas artists do not get anything.

“Our biggest issue is that there is no informed decision-making trend in our society,” he said, “here those people become part of assemblies who have either illegal wealth or are from those families who cared for horses or cleaned shoes of the British or did espionage for them. In our country, they are called elite, but in my view they are unsightly.”

Actress Sidra Niazi, who also attended the event, said that it was a great initiative and that women should have rights.

She was hopeful that Shah, being from the film industry, would be able to better understand the issues and resolve them.

“I think that whenever you give any post to anyone should have an understanding of that. Someone else can also be there. But if they are from the area concerned then it is comparatively easy. So I think he knows industry issues so no one is better than him.”

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Pakistan

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jamal shah

sidra niazi