FM station in each district by year-end
LAHORE, April 18 2006: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) expects FM radio station in each district by the end of the current year.
Pemra Chairman Iftikhar Rashid, speaking at meet-the-press programme of the Lahore Press Club here Monday, said a comprehensive media policy was on the cards to regulate all forms of media in the country. The policy, among other things, would set guidelines for local and foreign television channels operating in the country.
“The presence of a clear-cut media policy will help Pemra take prompt action in cases like illegal landing (beaming) by foreign channels and running of illegal FM stations,” he remarked. He said the authority had also chalked out a three-year plan to strengthen its enforcement capability. “Pemra presently has physical presence in only five towns of the country i.e. Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. With the execution of this plan, the enforcement side of the authority will be significantly strengthened.”
Regarding ban on certain foreign channels in Pakistan, Iftikhar Rashid said the authority had taken action against only those working illegally and violating rules and regulations. He said Star Plus, banned earlier, had now applied for landing rights with Pemra and the application was presently being reviewed. The channel had been getting 20 to 25 per cent advertisements from Pakistan while operating here illegally, he added.
He hoped that the introduction of DTH (direct to home) services in Pakistan would help address a number of cable operators’ related problems. To a question about the Cross Media Ordinance, the Pemra chief said it was presently under review of the mediation committee led by Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sher Afghan Niazi. Its promulgation would depend on the committee’s approval, he said.