The Indian government on Thursday announced that all movies will be free for the next three years, ending a decade-long period of strict government restrictions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the decision is “a significant step forward” to end the “strict, inefficient and unproductive film tax regime.”
The decision is an “important milestone” to bring about change in the country, the prime minister said.
The government will begin a transition period, beginning next month, to ease the restrictions.
“The government has taken the decision to lift restrictions on the availability of movies to the public, which will allow for an easier transition period for our citizens,” Modi said.
“We will soon commence the transition period.”
The government will also “remove all barriers on the free access to the Internet and other online services, to make it easier for people to access their movies,” the prime minster said.
In February, the government also lifted restrictions on free movies to children, in a move that was seen as a win for the film industry.
The government said the move is in line with a policy of “family friendly policies.”
The government said that it is also encouraging people to share movies online to “reinforce family harmony and reduce violence and discrimination.”
The move follows India’s decision to make all free movies available to everyone from the age of 10.
India’s movie industry is one of the world’s biggest and has been plagued by strict tax laws that make it difficult for the country’s film industry to compete with global giants such as China.