Private television channels allowed
ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance allowing establishment of TV channels in private sector.
The cabinet meeting, which was presided over by President Pervez Musharraf, approved the draft of PEMRA Ordinance 2002, allowing the setting up of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.
The PEMRA will have a chairman and nine members to be appointed by the president. The chairman of the authority will be a prominent professional.
It was decided that five members would be chosen from the private sector, including two women, who would be well-known personalities of media, law, human rights and social services.
The authority will have three ex-officio members, namely secretaries of Information and Interior and chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
The authority will be responsible for regulating the establishment and operation of all broadcast stations including radio and television and cable television in the country. It will generate resources through licensing, fee and subscription. The government will, however, provide the initial seed money.
A licence will not be granted to a person who is not a citizen of Pakistan, or resident in Pakistan, a foreign company established under the laws of any foreign government or a company, the majority of whose shares are owned or controlled by foreign nationals or companies whose management or control is vested in foreign nationals or companies. A counsel of complaint has also been provided in the law to respond to the public complaints and take disciplinary action against the broadcasters violating the Code of Ethics and other provisions of the law.
The PEMRA has been established as per the president’s promise made by him in his address to the nation on October 17, 1999, in which he had declared that he would like to facilitate the establishment of radio and TV stations in the private sector.