Benschop fails to comprehend
Guyana Chronicle
March 25, 2002

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How dare Mark Benschop say that the tax reduction granted to cinema owners is a racist move?

Like any of the problem agencies, the cinema industry is in bad shape, and a 15 percent tax reduction will not begin to bring them out of that mire. So what has racism got to do with anything? And I am surprised that Benschop wasn't able to comprehend this one.

The biggest problem cinema owners' face is piracy. Piracy is done by almost every television station owner in Guyana, as well as the video clubs, additionally there is a lack of intellectual property right laws.

It has nothing to do with race, that the technological landscape has grown to significant proportions, so that cinemas all over the world are forced to apply new techniques in a tight bid to survive. And there is no `click of the finger' solution. It has nothing to do with race. Persons choose to relax in the comfort of their homes to watch a DVD or video cassette, rather than go to the cinema.

It has nothing to do with race that people themselves are now finding alternative forms of entertainment than going to the cinema. As a matter of fact, how much do you perceive that cinema owners are making, especially when there is a mere 10 percent, if that great attendance of average? There is the likelihood too that there would not be immediate response to implement changes, since there must be adequate finance to hand to begin the process, and this may be lacking, due to shortfalls in the industry for over five years now.

These people have gone to lengths to persuade the government and other relevant authorities to do something on their behalf.

Benschop, when something is racist, it is racist. When it is not, please do not create a monster.