Cabinet approves amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill and Cinematograph Act

PTI

Prime Minister Narendra (FIle Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra (File Photo)

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved proposals to amend the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018.

This will further strengthen the bill in its objective to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities, and prevent such schemes from duping the poor, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while briefing the media after the Cabinet meeting here.

The bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as a deterrent, he said.

It has adequate provisions for disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally, Prasad added.

The CBI has lodged about 166 cases in the last four years in chit funds and multi-crore scams, with the maximum in West Bengal and Odisha, he said.

The Union Cabinet also approved amendments to the Cinematograph Act for imposing strict penalties to combat the menace of film piracy.

To check piracy, particularly the release of pirated versions of films on the internet which causes huge losses to the film industry and the exchequer, the government has proposed to make film piracy offences punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fines that may extend to Rs 10 lakh or both.

The proposed amendment states that any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any recording device to make or transmit a copy of a film, or attempts to do so, or abet the making or transmission of such a copy, will be liable for such a punishment.

The Cabinet approved Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s proposal for introducing the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019, which aims to tackle films piracy by including the penal provisions for unauthorised camcording and duplication of films.

The proposed amendments would increase industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfil important objectives of India’s National Intellectual Property policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online, an official statement said.

The film industry has been demanding for a long time that the government should consider amendments to the law preventing camcording and piracy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made an announcement at the inaugural function of the National Museum of Indian Cinema at Mumbai on January 19, 2019, to tackle the menace of camcording and piracy.

(PTI)