Kolkata: Bringing to the fore the failure of production houses in clearing payments in West Bengal’s entertainment industry, an association of suppliers on Monday threatened to go on a cease work agitation if their dues were not cleared in the next four days.
“The suppliers are facing huge problems as certain producers haven’t cleared payments (in crores) for a very long time… Till Thursday if we don’t see any initiation of payment, the suppliers will not take the responsibility to support the industry,” Neet Paul, General Secretary, Cine Video and Stage Supplier Welfare Association (CVSSWA), told the media here.
It is a body of members who supply camera, generator, lights, costume, vehicles and other props required for shootings.
There are 60-70 members in the welfare body and more than 600 people who work under them. Many suppliers have become bankrupt and one of them even thought about committing suicide.
“We are no one to stop work but the vendors are helpless and will not be able to provide the supplies without payments. We could have taken a legal step but wanted the channels, producers and suppliers to sit together and solve the issue,” Argha Mitra, Assistant Secretary, CVSSWA, said.
Pal named one producer Rana Sarkar who owes the suppliers more than Rs 2 crore and is absconding.
The said producer has allegedly not cleared payments of 14 suppliers for some of his television serials.
“We still hope that the industry will support us. We do believe in the judicial system but we cannot wait for months and years involved in a legal process and want the matter to be solved within ourselves,” Paul said.
The West Bengal Motion Picture Artists’ Forum is supporting the suppliers.
“We are approaching the channels as the serials are their products and they can easily solve the issue by making the payments. If the artists and technicians can get their dues, the suppliers should not be left behind,” Mitra added.
Costume supplier Zakir Hossen Mollick, a member of the body, said the producers thought that the suppliers lacked a collective voice and no one will stand up against them.