Pemra to Reform licence system -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra to Reform licence system

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Board has decided to speed up and simplify the process of issuing licences to applicants so that a long waiting period of 18 months is cut to three months and the number of documents needed for vetting applications is reduced to seven from 23.

“All Pemra procedures and regulations need to be drastically simplified to provide relief to applicants,” Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik told Dawn.

This decision, he said, will encourage competition and more transparency in the system. He said a dispute over pre-frequency allocation had been resolved and it would help Pemra take decisions on licences quickly.

He said Pemra had received applications for radio licences in 32 cities, but the previous system had been hindering the issue.

The Pemra chairman said that while the ministry of information would be responsible for policy-making, Pemra would decide about the number of television channels, radio stations and cable operators in the country.

“Implementation and regulation would now be the job of Pemra,” Mr Malik said, adding that issues concerning fees and criteria for awarding licences would also be decided by Pemra.

“We also need to do the benchmarking to ensure that applicants should have certain minimum paid-up capital like that in India,” the Pemra chairman said.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/11/2008