Mumbai: Top Bollywood producers and actors Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Karan Johar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 18, who was on a one-day visit to Maharashtra, at Raj Bhavan here to discuss the issues being faced by the Indian film industry.

The delegation also included prominent film producers such as Ritesh Sidhwani, Siddharth Roy Kapur, the president of the Film Producers Guild, Rakesh Roshan, Ronnie Screwvala, Vijay Singh - CEO - Fox Star Studios and Prasoon Joshi, the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

After the meeting, Karan Johar shared a photo of himself with PM Modi on social media and wrote that he was "enlightened" to hear the Prime Minister share his views on cinema and its "strength". "It was enlightening to hear the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi share his views on our Industry's soft power status and the strength of our cinema...He gave our media and entertainment representatives a patient and solid hearing....thank you Sir, (sic)" 

Speaking to a news agency, filmmaker Siddharth Roy Kapur said, "The main agenda to discuss with PM was what the entertainment industry in India can contribute as a soft power of the nation around the world and how it would be wonderful if the government could encourage this industry in very tangible ways to be able to grow and thrive."

He assured the delegation that the union government is supportive of the media and entertainment industry and would consider the suggestions positively.

In a tweet later, Modi said, “Had an extensive and fruitful interaction with a delegation from the film and entertainment industry. The delegation spoke about the studies being made by the film and entertainment industry, and gave valuable inputs relating to GST for their sector.”

Akshay Kumar, who was part of the delegation from the film industry, said, “Heartfelt thank you to the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji for taking out time to hear us at length, discuss issues pertaining to our industry and assuring positive consideration of suggestions.”

Members of the delegation also called for the development of Mumbai as the global entertainment capital through various initiatives and proactive approaches.

This was the second meeting of the filmmakers with the prime minister since October 24 this year. They, along with actor Aamir Khan and Sidhwani, had met the PM in Delhi. Sidhwani, according to the industry sources, urged the prime minister to look towards treating cinema as an “industry” by acknowledging its contribution to the nation’s exchequer and fiscal growth, and in promoting bilateral ties between nations as a global cultural ambassador.

“It was a collaborative effort to come forward, address issues and seek solutions from the Prime Minister directly,” the insiders said, adding that the PM “acknowledged that our films are being recognised internationally and agreed that filmmakers are no less important than nation-builders”.

“He has assured the delegation that he will personally work towards setting up a special committee to look into the industry matters and address them urgently,” sources said, adding that it was a “productive meeting with a positive outcome.”

The prime minister is on a day’s visit to Maharashtra in which he will launch infrastructure and housing projects worth about Rs 41,000 crore in the state.

(Inputs from PTI)