Pemra laws being amended to make it more effective
ISLAMABAD,March 11, 2005 The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has a role of a ‘referee’ and its laws are being amended to make it a more effective and strong organisation.
According to a press release, Pemra Chairman Iftikhar Rashid stated this while chairing the first meeting of the Council of Complaints for Islamabad and Rawalpindi here. He said the ultimate objective of the Pemra was to introduce self-regulation to ensure projection of programmes based on ethical values of the country.
The role of the council was very important to regulate the work of cable operators, he said, adding that it would meet on a regular basis to resolve the public complaints about cable operators.
Iftikhar said there should be constant interaction among the Pemra, members of the council of complaints and cable operators to ensure smooth working. He said the Pemra was so far not doing its job effectively due to various reasons including lack of monitoring system, equipment and necessary staff.
He said most of the cable operators were working according to the rules and regulations and the code of ethics provided by the Pemra, but there were some complaints about a few cable operators. The rules of the authority provide the best possible assistance to cable operators to continue their work, he said.
The members of the council including Mir Jamilur Rehman, commissioner of council, Laiq Ahmad, Huma Baig and Raja Javed Akhlas attended the meeting. Others who attended were President of Cable Operations Association Rawalpindi-Islamabad Captain Naveed Akbar and General Secretary Imran Nadeem. They assured their full cooperation to the Pemra to implement its rules.
Later talking to media, the Pemra chairman said his main priority was to simplify the procedure for operation of television channels and radios by providing them all facilities, permits and ‘no objectionÂ’ certificate. He said Pakistan’s image could be projected in a better way with an open media policy. He said he had also suggested some changes in the Pemra Ordinance to make it more effective, and had discussed the changes with the minister for information and broadcasting to promote enlightened vision of the country.
About start of direct to home (DTH) television by two private channels already issued licences by the Pemra, Iftikhar said a meeting would be held next week to take a final decision on the issue. He said the nine-member authority would take decision, and that was not linked with start of DTH by any other channel.
About permission to the Indian TV channels, the Pemra chief said it was for the government to take a decision on this issue and the Pemra was responsible to implement it.
He said about 1,000 cable operators in the country have licences while many others had been operating without any licence. He said he would take steps to bring all the unlicensed operators in the Pemra network to regularise their activities.
Source: The News