FM radio licences for 47 cities will be issued
ISLAMABAD, September 19 2005: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has decided to issue new FM radio licences for 47 cities by the end of next year.
Sources said new FM radio licences would be awarded in smaller towns, especially those in the Northern Areas and Kashmir. They said PEMRA had started the fourth phase of FM licensing to include smaller cities and towns which had so far been left out. The authority would issue licences for Peshawar, Quetta, Bahawalnagar, Mianwali, Okara, Thatta, Ghotki, Tharparkar, Chaghi, Dera Bugti and several other towns. PEMRA had so far issued 84 FM Radio Broadcast licences for 57 cities of the country, sources said.
They said the authority had adopted a transparent method for electronic media licensing. The authority had issued 16 licences for satellite television channels in the country, sources said, adding that 28 television licence applications were being reviewed.
Initially, PEMRA law had prohibited print media owners from starting satellite television channels, but the current government had decided to change this policy. However, they said, the law was pending in the Senate. PEMRA had received 24 applications from newspapers owners to start satellite television channels, sources said.
It is estimated that the satellite television industry could generate around Rs 2.6 billion, and had the potential to employ around 4000 people in the years to come. Sources said that cable television was the largest and fastest-growing medium and around 1250 cable television licences had been issued so far. They said that this sector employed some 30,000 people and was estimated to have already entered four million houses in Pakistan. PEMRA, they said, had encouraged educational institutions, particularly universities, to employ electronic media for dissemination of education and training.
Eleven Educational Institutions had been granted licences to establish FM radio stations to start educational and professional training programmes for their respective students, they said.
Source: Daily Times