Steps proposed to simplify Pemra licence procedures
ISLAMABAD (May 11 2008): As part of competitiveness support fund (CSF) objectives to make the Pakistan’s economy more vibrant and competitive, crucial areas have been identified in the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) licensing procedures to improve the business environment and encourage investment in media industry.
According to CSF, after review of the current licensing procedure of Pemra the fund on Saturday recommended some major steps to simplify the procedure, reducing the time consumed in obtaining the licences.
Based on the requirements of stakeholders, CSF has proposed new guidelines for submitting applications, reducing the current requirement of 23 different forms to only 7. The pre-qualification timeframe has also been reduced from 30 to 15 days, the application then would be sent to the Ministry of Interior by Pemra for clearance. A maximum period of 45 days has been suggested for final clearance from the Interior Ministry.
Arthur Bayhan, Chief Executive Officer of the CSF said that to improve the competitiveness of any economy, it is essential to build up collection between public-private academia and the media sector. Changing the mindset is crucial for promoting innovation and competition, he added.
He said: “We believe that proposed recommendations by CSF will improve the business environment in Pakistan and will encourage people to invest in media industry for dividends in long-term to provide access to information to both urban and rural population of the country”.
The World Bank and its International Finance Corporation (IFC) in its annual report of ‘Doing Business 2008’ have also identified that Pakistan has lost its 73rd position in 2007 to 76th in 2008 out of 178 economies. In dealing with licences, Pakistan ranks 93 as compared to 91 in 2008 and 2007 respectively. The report also identified an average 223 days to get a licence in Pakistan, which is quite high as compared to 153 days in most of the emerging market economies.
Source: Business Recorder