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Government pledges to protect local artistes

by MD Ashraful Islam

The existing committee members of Bangladesh Cholochitro Shilpi Samity, Actors’ Equity Bangladesh and other artiste organisations met the Minister in the meeting room of the Information Ministry at the Secretariat yesterday. The meeting intended to shed light on the new rule passed by the ministry, that is, anyone willing to hire foreign artistes for advertisement has to pay extra fees.

“It is not the intention of the government to stop working with foreign artistes to design advertisements. In this free market economy anyone can make ads with anyone. However, the government’s goal is to protect the country’s artistes,” said Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud during his discussion with the artistes

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. A large part of the advertisements on our television are made with foreign artists. Those artists are not first-class, but second and third-grade artists from other countries. Nevertheless, I believe Bangladeshi models are also good-looking and smart, and they perform beautifully on screen.

“We first thought of paying BDT 5 lakh for making advertisements with foreign artists. However, we rarely pay our artistes that big an amount. Bearing that in mind, a fee of BDT 2 lakh has been fixed for artists, excluding VAT and income tax,” he adds.

The local film and television based organisations are very happy about this initiative. Shahiduzzaman Selim, president of Actors’ Equity, termed the amendment of the policy as a landmark step in protecting the country’s art and culture and artists.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Maqbool Hossain, Bangladesh Film Artists Association President Misha Sawdagor, General Secretary Zayed Khan, Director SA Haque Alik, actors Tareen Jahan Tanvin Sweety, among others, were present at the meeting.

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