Players in the country’s film industry have welcomed the government’s move to zero-rate film equipment imports but have expressed concerns over the implementation of the legislation.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich made the big announcement yesterday as he unveiled the 2015/2016 sh. 2.1 trillion budget. The directive will see a drop in the cost of cameras, lenses, boom microphones, editing suites and other film making facilities.
The film players fears are based on an experience based on a similar directive that was issued three years ago by Uhuru Kenyatta when he was then the Finance Minister.
The directive had offered tax exemptions on cameras but players in the film industry never enjoyed the benefits as there was no clear enforcement of the same and the custom officers never adhered to the directive.
According to film director Gitonga Tosh, famed for the Nairobi Half Life film, there was a problem in enforcing the previous directive.
“The customs were like. Sisi hatujui, hakuna memo (we are not aware; we haven’t received a memo on the issue). Let’s hope this time they shall heed and Kudos to Chris Foot who has been pushing this thing like crazy!” said Tosh.
While acknowledging the development, Producer and Director Gbenga Micheal Kayode noted that there is still much more that the government should do in order to facilitate the growth of the industry.
“Good initiative but this is just step 1. Much more things are needed and urgently too. I think it is paramount that the government consolidates and simplifies permits and licensing. Once you have a film permit from DFS it should be sufficient, instead of endless city council runs amongst many others,” he said.