Cable operators have great role in media boom: Awan -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Cable operators have great role in media boom: Awan

KARACHI: Federal Information Minister Firduos Ashiq Awan said on Saturday that electronic media in the country could not flourish and progress without the assistance of cable operators association that had become a major industry.

“Keeping in view the substantial growth of Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (CAP), the government will soon bring legislation in the parliament, giving CAP the official status of an industry and eradicate their concerns in connection with insecurity and other matters,” she said while talking to media after a meeting with CAP officials at a local hotel.

Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Dr. Abdul Jabbar, President All Pakistan Cable Operators Association Khalid Arian, General Secretary CAP Sindh Akhlaq Ahmed, Senior President CAP Punjab Jabbar and other officials also attended the meeting.

CAP proposed its demands to the government regarding deduction in in-house tariff, reduction in per subscriber fee to Rs 6, conferring official industry status to CAP, action against illegal cable operators across the country and halting the process licence issuance to cable operators.

Awan said the deduction in in-house tariff had been sorted out while other demands would be settled in upcoming meeting. She said as the business of cable industry was being increased, some challenges were also springing up in correspondence, adding government would strive to tackle all those issues by taking all stakeholders on board.

She said PEMRA should also facilitate CAP as it did with the electronic media. “In Pakistan, 2,800 cable operators are working with one operator and has employed at least 10 people so that the association of massive employment with this industry can easily be gauged with the fact,” the minister mentioned.

She asserted that a revenue generation of CAP was Rs 617 million last year, of which Rs 141 million were generated from Sindh. She added that the government could not neglect the significance of the cable industry.

Regarding her recent visit to China, the minister said the visiting delegation of Pakistan asked the Chinese government to offer scholarship programmes for professional and working journalists of our country. She said professional journalists of electronic media would be sent there to acquire more professional skills and instill those teachings to other journalists of the country.

She assured that the government would compensate all those cable operators who had lost their equipments and setups in flood-hit areas of Sindh. However, she asked CAP officials to generate funds from flood-free areas where no operator faced a loss.

She said that the government had also formed council of complaint incorporating social activists and actors to run the centre. She maintained that PEMRA, in this connection, had to be empowered to take action against any stakeholder against whom a complaint was lodged.

The Punjab CAP president informed the minister that cable operators in Lahore were facing serious security challenges as so far 43 operators had been killed for unknown reasons. He demanded proper security to cable operators in the provincial capital. Chairman PEMRA sought written proposal in this regard to analyse the matter thoroughly.
Source: Daily Times
Date:9/25/2011