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FM rejects MIB’s infra status proposal for distribution segment of broadcasting sector

The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the Finance Ministry has rejected the ministry of information and broadcasting’s (MIB) proposal about granting infrastructure status to the distribution segment of the broadcasting sector for failing to meet the specified criteria.

This information was provided by Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Prakash Javadekar in the Lok Sabha.

“A proposal for grant of Infrastructure Status to the Distribution Segment of the Broadcasting Sector, as requested by the industry, was submitted to the nodal Department viz. Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. The Department of Economic Affairs, however, did not agree to the proposal for not meeting the specified criteria,”
Javadekar said in response to a question.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also been in favour of granting infrastructure status to the technology-intensive broadcasting sector as it would help industry players to raise capital and invest in new technology.

Javadekar also said that the government has not formulated a draft National Broadcasting Policy (NBP). Queried by Lok Sabha members whether the government has formulated a Draft National Broadcasting Policy, if so, the details along with the aims and objectives thereof, Javadekar replied in the negative.

The minister, however, added that the government has initiated a consultation process with stakeholders like industry, academia, and expert bodies in order to create an enabling environment for ensuring transparency, non-discrimination, consumer protection, and orderly growth of the Broadcasting sector.

“The feedback received includes, inter alia, recommendations to achieve a universal reach of broadcasting, improve choice of content, enable a level playing field for sectoral growth and enhance global outreach of broadcast content from India,’ Javadekar said.

The minister also said that no time frame can be indicated for the finalisation of the policy as the formulation of a policy like NBP has multi-dimensional implications and it needs to be firmed up after a due process.

Javadekar averred that the MIB continues to create an enabling environment for sustained growth of the media and entertainment sector, facilitate value-based wholesome entertainment and effectively disseminate information on government policies, programmes and achievements.

“With the continuous review of policies/programmes, steps are being taken to improve the ease of doing business and to strengthen the broadcasting eco-system in India,” he stated. Exchange4media

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