Broadcasting regulation gets backing of Parliamentary Committee

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Mumbai, Oct 9 (UNI) The Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has supported the Government's move to introduce the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2007 in Parliament.

Participating in the Consultative Committee Meeting that was held here yesterday, the MPs unanimously endorsed the view that there has to be some sort of regulatory mechanism for the broadcasting sector.

Opening the discussion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said, ''An independent broadcast regulator is the need of the hour in a changing world as the Cable Television Network Act, 1995 is inadequate to address all the issues.'' He said the move is aimed at bringing in an element of responsibility and is not aimed at moral policing. Mr Dasmunsi said, ''Viewers want it, people's representatives want it, social activists want it, cable operators want it, but only a handful of media houses are skeptical.'' The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had put up the draft bill on its website in July and invited comments of the stakeholders. Views of most industry representatives, television channels and business associations, were received and the apprehensions expressed by them have been addressed. The bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.

India is one of the few countries without a broadcasting regulator, despite having a large number of television channels.

According to the Ministry, there are 324 TV channels in operation, of which 274 are news channels. Another 118 applications are awaiting permission. Social activists consider ''sensationalisation of the trivia'' needs to be curbed for development of a healthy society.

UNI

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