‘Electronic media to be brought under Pemra regime’
ISLAMABAD, January 02 2006: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) is taking steps to bring the electronic media under its regularised regime. The Executive Member of the Authority, Shahid Humayun, said this at a press conference here.
He said that social, religious and moral values of the society would be protected under the regularised regime. ‘Pemra has made a code of conduct for the electronic media so that they may present programs conforming to the values of society,” he added. He said that the Authority has issued licences to 16 TV channels, and added that 11 of them “are operating”.
“We have also issued licences to more than 90 FM radio stations. Out of these, 40 FM radio stations are on the air, which provide information, education and entertainment to community-based people”, he said.
Shahid said that Pemra had issued licenses to nine FM radio stations within 24 hours when the October 8 earthquake struck Azad Kashmir and parts of NWFP. He said that five of them are already on air, which not only facilitated the people in the affected areas, but also provided temporary uplinking to inform the people around the country about the sufferings of quake affectees.
‘Many cable operators are now working under the code of conduct of Pemra, which were previously operating illegally’.
About 1200 cable operators have been issued licences by Pemra throughout the country and now cable TV system has improved very much due to the efforts of Pemra”, he added.
He said that it was a misperception that Pemra had closed down certain TV channels, and added that those channels were off the air, which have not obtained licence.
Only those channels are on line which have either got licences or have landing rights. The off line channels were illegal. “We will issue licences if these channels would apply for it. We will keep in view the contents of their programs while issuing licences”, said Shahid Humayun.
The executive member said that Geo has neither got licence nor has landing rights, and is only a satellite channel. He added that they are negotiating with the owners of Geo TV channel to bring it in the ambit of Pemra. He said that 16 TV channels have acquired landing rights so far, while 24 applications for landing rights “are under process”.
He said that Pemra would regulate in-house channels (CD channels). However, he said, 100 percent results were not likely to occur soon in its enforcement.
Humayun said that 671 cable TV operators had been closed down since March, while 1200 operators have got licences.
Source: Business Recorder