TRAI releases consultation paper on broadcasting

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a consultation paper on the issues relating to the entry of state governments and certain other entities into broadcasting and distribution activities.

At present, the activities relating to the broadcasting sector, which include owning a TV or a Radio channel as well as its distribution through various distributing platforms, are mainly in the hands of Prasar Bharati (an autonomous body created by an Act of Parliament) and the private sector.

In the past, certain state governments had also shown interest to get into this sector, but were not granted the permission.

Recently, some more requests have been received by the state governments and certain other entities for entering the sector, following which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting requested TRAI to examine the matter of allowing state governments, urban and local bodies, 3-tier Panchayati Raj bodies, publicly funded bodies, political bodies and religious bodies to enter into the broadcasting activities and submit its recommendations as per the provisions of Section 11(1)(a) of TRAI Act, 1997.

The recommendations on the disqualification with respect to religious bodies to enter into broadcasting sector were also sought by the government.

The consultation paper focuses on various factors involved in deciding the future policy, in the interest of broadcasting sector and public at large, on the entry of these entities into this sector. It throws up questions to stakeholders about the entry and extent of involvement of these entities into broadcasting domain along with the safeguards required to prevent any possible misuse by these entities.

The paper also highlights the constitutional provisions relating to the Central and state governments on the subject.

The Authority has invited all the stakeholders to respond to the issues raised in the consultation paper by March 25.

UNI NAZ HS KN1727

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