The National Democratic Alliance government in India has rejected a proposal to restrict the sale of Indian films to Russian producers, saying it would “have serious repercussions on the film industry”.
The decision to reject the motion was made by the ruling party’s Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade on Monday.
It is expected to be finalised by the state-run RTI office.
Indian filmmakers will now have to seek permission from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is charged with monitoring foreign films.
“In order to further develop our industry and attract foreign investment, the government will take further steps to restrict foreign ownership of Indian and Russian films,” Deputy Culture and Information Minister Anand Kumar Singh said in a statement.
The government’s move comes at a time when Indian films have become the most popular overseas.
India has had a strong film industry in recent years and in 2015 it hosted the International Film Festival in New Delhi, which brought in the likes of Steve McQueen, Richard Linklater and Steve Jobs.
In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for the banning of Indian filmworks in Russia and warned that India would become “the next big target of the global film industry”, citing the country’s “lack of cultural awareness”.
India, however, has been one of the world’s most vocal supporters of its films and has helped develop several foreign films over the years.
Last year, the Indian government awarded a record $1.4bn (1.8 billion euros) in government subsidies for film production.
Last year, a group of Indian actors including actor Pritam Bhanu Mehta, film director Shailesh Kapoor, film producer Rajkumar Hirani and actor Arjun Kapoor wrote a letter to the prime minister asking him to ban all foreign films in India.