PEMRA denies victimising media group -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PEMRA denies victimising media group

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Wednesday rejected the claim of a media group that PEMRA rules were intentionally amended to harm its interests.

In a statement, PEMRA termed the news item as “baseless and blatant distortion of the facts”. The PEMRA statement said that in reality, the Independent Music Group (IMG) PVT LTD applied for Geo Super Satellite TV licence on July 2, 2007, which was sent for security clearance according to rule 10 sub rule 4 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002.

The security clearance clause existed way before the application from Geo Super was received so it would be totally false to claim that the rules were tailor-made to victimise a certain group, the rules instead regulate and facilitate the proper functioning of the electronic media.

The application, after initial scrutiny and receipt of deficit documentation, was sent to the Interior Ministry for security clearance on February 27, 2007, which was regretted by the ministry on June 9, 2009. Subsequently, the authority in its 55th meeting held on July 3, 2009, refused the grant of licence due to non-security clearance, which was conveyed to the applicant on July 8, 2009.

As PEMRA rules were finalised in December 2009, therefore, the claim of Geo Group that rules were made in antagonism to Geo Group is not true. It is worth mentioning that cross media restriction is applied in most parts of the developed world, which bans print media owners to enter into electronic media business. This very clause also existed in the initial PEMRA Ordinance-2002. Since, the restriction of cross media was lifted through legislation, it then became obligatory to determine certain cap on number of broadcast media licences to be issued to any media group in order to avoid undue concentration of media.

This is an international practice in vogue in US, UK, France and number of other countries. The law of land applies to all across the board and cannot be an individual specific. Hence, Rule 13 of PEMRA Rules-2009, which applies limit that a media group cannot own more than four satellite TV channels, this rule being applied to all media groups and not to Geo group specifically.

Statement that the Geo Super is continuing its transmission from Dubai and PEMRA is not granting uplinking permission was totally misleading. The fact of the matter, however, is that PEMRA did not close transmission of Geo Super as being propagated by the Geo Group. They have blocked transmission of Geo Super at their own to fetch undue public sympathies by deceiving factual information.
Source: Daily Times
Date:4/28/2011