Pemra law to curb vulgar programmes
QUETTA, April 30, 2005: The federal government has moved the Pemra Amendment Act, 2004, in parliament to strictly ban foreign channels in the country. The Director-General of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Haji Ahmed Malik, said this while speaking at a press conference here on April 29. Once the Pemra amendment bill is approved by the National Assembly, all foreign channels showing vulgar programmes would be disallowed in the country, he said.
“The bill is expected to be approved in the next session of the National Assembly,” he told a questioner, adding that the authority had recommended 27 amendments to the Pemra Ordinance, all related to cross-media and further empowerment of Pemra.
He said that after the approval of the bill, Pemra would be empowered to raid the offices of cable operators showing illegal, immoral and banned channels and seize their equipment in addition to imposing fines on their owners.
He said Pemra chairman had strictly directed for checking the broadcasts of obscene channels. So far, Pemra had seized electronic equipment of 25 to 30 cable operators in the country for telecasting such channels.He said most obscene channels were telecast by cable operators in Punjab and Sindh strict actions were being taken against them.
He said there were over 2000 cable operators in the country who were illegally telecasting various channels through cable without obtaining a licence. He, however, said that Pemra had launched a drive against such operators in the country.Pemra’s DG said his organization had so far issued 1,110 licences to cable TV operators but those running illegal establishments in the country outnumbered them.
He said that 15 licences for private TVs had been issued, of which 11 were commercial and four educational. Already, seven commercial and two educational televisions have launched their services. Another 72 licences have been issued for setting up FM radios, of which 63 are commercial and nine educational, he added.
Mr Malik said that Pemra had received 34 more applications for new TV channels. However, the government had not taken any decision on those applications so far. He said the government wanted to promote cable service as an industry for which it needed the cooperation of cable operators.