PACKERS AND MOVERS BANGALORE Banashankari Iii stage for a film, a dance, even a social work, is a long-drawn out affair, and is often an expensive affair too. For film industry of today, even the biggest and longest-running mega-film, with over five lakh crores spent on it, has an average shooting schedule of nearly a year. It is an industry that thrives on the back of huge sums of money, and when money isn’t there, there is no production, no film, nothing. And right now, there isn’t money. So, producers, financiers, directors, cameramen, make-up artists, assistants, and actors are all out of a job. To keep afloat, they all try to pick up odd jobs as they can. In the meanwhile, the film industry, the backbone of our economy, has been hit by a massive crisis that has been hanging over us since May 2016. A ban on the Central government’s move to impose a blanket ban on Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes was lifted on 10 November last year. That has had its own consequences. The total value of rupee, which stood at just above Rs.70/dollar on 11 May 2016, has now plummeted to Rs.55.50 on 23 September, touching Rs.56.50. In dollar terms, this translates to a whopping Rs.2.70 trillion. In the entire history of the currency, this is the biggest ever fall. The rupee’s fall has been driven by a massive sell-off, which was triggered by the RBI’s decision to introduce the much-talked about Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), which allows banks to settle their transactions in cash with each other, rather than by using electronic transactions. RTGS also helps settle payments across multiple transactions, and at a much faster rate than currently. As a result of this, banks have been forced to sell their forex in the market. And that is what has happened. With banks not accepting currency notes, people have not been able to buy these notes to convert them into foreign currency, and they haven’t been able to sell them to the public to realise their forex. Banks have been taking a hit because a significant portion of their customers are corporates. They have to keep a certain level of forex at their vaults for their customers. And, if these customers don’t buy currency notes to convert it into foreign currency, the vaults are not getting replenished. This all has led to currency shortage across the country. RBI’s latest data for the last fiscal (2012-13) shows that at Rs.7.36 trillion, the RBI’s forex reserves are down Rs.700 billion (or 10.7%) from Rs.7.75 trillion in September 2015. If we take only those rupee-denominated securities that have a maturity of less than one year, our reserve figure drops to just Rs.6.45 trillion. The country has never faced such a problem. To tackle this, the RBI has come up with a variety of measures to combat the problem. For one, to stop banks from having to go to the market to sell forex, RBI announced on 16 July last year that Rs.400 billion worth of forex would be printed. And a few months later, another Rs.400 billion was added to this. On 11 September this year, Rs.500 billion was added to this. In the process of fighting this problem, RBI has used up some of its forex reserve. But why is this happening? It’s because of two things. One is RTGS. This has forced banks to offload their forex in the open market. Two, is demonetisation. This changed the value of currency, and in some cases, has made it virtually worthless. In short, it’s been a messy situation. And that is the reason why we need the film industry, a crucial part of our economy, to be strong. And we need it to get stronger. Because, in our film industry, we have lakhs of people working day and night, just to keep the industry alive. We have directors, cameramen, make-up artists, designers, music composers, writers, and others in this industry. We have actors too. All these people go to work, day and night, sometimes even on Sundays. They come to their office or their studio, and work non-stop. Even in a crisis, even when they have no work, they somehow find ways to keep things going. In fact, the year 2017 can be a very difficult one for the film industry, and for a