Dishonored checks run into the television industry
The long battle between television artists, vendors and technicians and Subrata Roy's production house has opened a potential handling box for Pandora. Those who expect payments from him are struggling with dishonor checks . Despite repeated attempts, Subrata did not respond to any CT calls. Before going to the press, CT spoke with all concerned about the problems that affect industry .
No more supplies before payment is cleared
First, the channels will have to pay us 99% of our fees. You can ask Roy subrata for the details. Who will look after the payments for the serials that are no longer running but for which we still haven’t been paid? Will the channels take charge? Second, we no longer trust Roy subrata . His checks have bounced, though we were hopeful that he would clear our dues. We asked him to keep a late call time on Tuesday so that once the amount gets transferred to our accounts, we can begin shoot. But he didn’t listen to us. Now, we will only resume supplying costumes once we get our dues.
— Jakir Hossen Mollick, costume supplier
I don't see intention to clear the fees
The problems we are facing are only from Roy subrata ’s production house. Other production houses are making regular payments. I work in the serial, Trinayani. They are excellent paymasters. Getting dues on time has been a long-drawn battle with Subrata’s house. We have spoken with him and tried to make him understand. We have informed the channels too. There’s also a problem of TDS here. Apart from the fact that Subrata has not kept his promise every time, I don't even see any
intention in him to clear the fees. Artists who work in series like Karunamoyee Rani Rashmoni They have not been paid since July. There are also some delays from March to April. I can surely talk about Gourab Chatterjee not getting the TDS. Ditipriya is underage and therefore not a member of the Artists ’Forum. So, I can't tell about her.
— Debjani Chatterjee, actress and member of the steering committee of the Artists Forum
We will only believe in written guarantees
Vendors are being hassled by repeated hollow assurances. The last payment clearance date for all was August 31. That didn’t happen. Instead of all vendors, only six received their payments in cheque on that day. But, that payment cleared only 10% or 20% of the dues of these six vendors. However, these checks were dishonoured on September 2. It is extremely harrowing. So, we have stopped supply for shooting of two of Subrata’s serials since Tuesday. Therefore, shootings of two serials have been stalled. When Subrata met us that day, he said more checks will bounce because he doesn’t have funds. But on August 31, he gave out the checks confidently assuring that the payments will be cleared. He has promised another date again. This time around, we are not believing his promises. As we speak, we are in a meeting with Roy subrata and the channels. From his production, approximately Rs3 crore is due to all suppliers working in all channels for serials that are running and those that have stopped. If we get a written assurance from channels, we might reconsider. Until that happens, I can’t say how long the shootings will be stalled.
— Neet Paul, secretary, supplier guild
Did not meet the deadline
Roy subrata has been asking us to wait for a long time now. All this while, he has been taking lots of jewellery from me for his shows — Debi Choudhurani and Manasa. I have an outstanding due of approximately Rs3.60 lakh for Debi Choudhurani and Rs5.40 lakh for Manasa. The most alarming part is that his checks have been dishonoured. Four times over, checks worth Rs19,600 have bounced. Twice, checks of Rs39,000 have bounced. Since my husband is a bank manager, I was aware that such situations do occur. So, I had told Roy subrata at the very onset of work that he should ensure that my checks will not be dishonoured. Yet, that happened in my case. On Tuesday, he said that he would clear Manasa’s payments and sit with me to discuss about Debi Choudhurani’s dues. But when the checks bounced again, I asked him to RTGS the amounts. He failed again. I awaited payments from him that he had promised to clear in my case. The deadline was 2 pm on Wednesday. He failed again.
— Ajanta Datta, jewelry designer and supplier of ornaments.
Producers must be a little more organized
Our shooting is stalled since September 3. I haven't faced any cheque bouncing issue and all my dues have been cleared. But I have not received my TDS yet, which is a huge amount. Our industry is going through a really rough patch. I think the only solution is that the producers need to be a bit more organised. Not only actors, a lot of vendors and technicians too haven’t received their payments for months. We all have our families to look after. I hope this issue is resolved soon.
— Gourab Chatterjee of Karunamoyee Rani Rashmoni
I have no idea when our fees will be settled
The last episode of Manasa was pending, but the show had to end abruptly since the entire unit refused to work due to default. So, forget about the check without funds, I have more than Rs1 lakh pending from the production house. There has been no announcement about when our fees will be settled.
— Chandni Saha de Manasa
Producers are taking on more projects than they can handle
I have worked in almost all the serials of Roy subrata . Around Rs50,000 of my TDS since last year is pending. Acting is our bread and butter, and with such huge dues pending, it’s difficult for us to survive. I think the root cause of the problem is that producers these days are taking up too many projects and thus, failing to cope up. The Artists’ Forum has said they are looking into the matter, but I am not sure when our dues will be cleared.
— Priyanka Pal by Joy Baba Loknath, Khonar Bachan and E Amar Gurudakshina
I have not received any compensation for 2 months
The shooting of my series is currently stagnant. I still don't understand how this whole problem of non-payment started. I have more than Rs2 lakh of outstanding quotas from the production company. During the past two months, I have not received any compensation. The channel has ensured that this problem will be resolved before September 15.
— Roshni Bhattacharyya of Karunamoyee Rani Rashmoni