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Posted By : Mukesh Dube    At 6/15/2014 11:22:25 PM



With the “Achhey Din” Government in place ready to push the sops and subsidies to industry in its maiden budget, hopes for a fair dole to the animation industry have started rising.  For some years now industry bodies, like ASSOCHAM, FICCI, CII and NASSCOM, concerned with the animation and gaming sector out of the periphery have been suggesting budgetary support for this sunrise sector to attract animation development and production to India.  CAGRs ranging from 28 to 41% have pegged the animation and gaming market between US $ 700 million and 1.5 billion, over the last decade.  Economic downswings worldwide have, however, pushed even animation creations to rock-bottom positions.  Recent years have witnessed even the closure of such big animation institutions and studios as Crest, Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, Rhythm & Hues, Picasso, MAAC, and the like.  Trends flowing in from animation learning institutions also indicate a severe downswing in admissions since the last academic year.

However, the “English-speaking-low-cost” advantage that this creative sector has enjoyed is still full of promise if timely Government support can change the game’s rules.  The Information & Broadcasting Minister has started sending encouraging messages to the animation industry with his desire to open a dedicated Indian Animation Channel on Doordarshan.  This indeed is a cue for the animation industry to put its act together if it has to be worth its promises.

With this in mind, the Society for Animation in Delhi (SAID), has written to both Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  and Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, to take a serious look at what ails the animation industry in India since the last more than 5 years.  The Society has suggested budgetary support to the tune of Rs. 10 crores to begin with, in the current year, aiming to provide import duty to the tune of at least 10% on import of hardware and software exclusive to animation and gaming; tax holiday for at least five years, particularly corporate tax; placing animation and gaming in the ‘negative list’ of service tax, to increase financial and market viability; and grants for production, international participation, centres of excellence, market and industrial research, writing and purchase of books, and everything that can help to develop the market for animation at the domestic as well as international levels.  Subhash Siddhu, the new President of SAID, feels that the society’s suggested measures have immense potential to push the GDP, encourage production, generate healthy income and thousands of jobs in the animation market, in the long run, right into the deep rural interiors of India – a step that no-one is thinking of till date.  He has also sought a meeting with the two Ministers to make a presentation on the industry status and the gaps that need to be filled for making it vibrant and thriving – measures that will induce skill, scale and speed – as the new Government wants.

Interesting as they sound, these suggestions appear to be the first feelers coming from industry insiders, who have seen entry by passion and exit by depression, as SAID expresses the recent phenomenon, and want to reverse the trend.  The suggestions have been welcomed by many in the industry, with reactions still pouring in to SAID.  SAID promises to pursue measures with Government, at the State and Centre, to fill the gaping gaps in the industry, till they are finally filled to good measure. 

SAID is a non-profit body of voluntary and independent animators and related artists, registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860, which aims to put original and creative production of animation and related arts in a perspective that provides the widest possible exposure to artists’ creations at the local, regional, national and global arenas, take cartoons beyond kids, and seek mature audiences for animation, by bringing together all stakeholders in the industry on a common platform in organizing the industry in India.

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