New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the seventh budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on February 1 in the Parliament amid daunting economic challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Most sectors were hit hard by the pandemic-induced lockdowns and therefore hold high expectations from this year's budget.

The film industry was dealt a blow with the shutting down of cinema halls and theatres as part of the precautionary measures to curb the pandemic. Several big budget films that were already in the post-production phase were forced to release on the OTT platforms.  

The industry has high hopes to be provided relief in the upcoming budget. Ahead of its presentation, representatives of India's top multiplex chains, along with Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sunny Deol, met Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday. Sitharaman assured them that the government would consider relief measures proposed by the industry, according to film criticTaran Adarsh 

"Delegation meets finance minister... Hon Minister of Finance and Corporate Affaurs Nirmala Sitharaman ji met Sunny Deol, Sanjeev Bijli and Kamal Gianchandani... She assured that the government will certainly consider relief measure proposed by the industry," Adarsh tweeted. 

Quoting a senior official aware of the meeting, The New Indian Express reported that the delegation put forth the demand of relaxation in restrictions, waiving of tax, and access to affordable finance.  

The budget is of key importance to the sector in the year where it is expect to contrast by as much as 67 per cent. The pandemic changed the dynamic of the business, with more and more Indians preferring watching movies on OTT platform. The industry awaits the government's call to let the cinema halls and theatres run at 100 per cent capacity, even as people continue to stay reluctant in going to theatres.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja