PEMRA presents financial report to president
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Acting Chairman Muhammad Parvez Rathore on Thursday presented report of PEMRA’s operations and accounts for the financial years 2010-2014 to President Mamnoon Hussain at the Presidency.
President Mamnoon said that with unprecedented growth of media in the country, its role had become very important in impacting the norms and culture of society. While presenting the report, the PEMRA chairman briefed that Section 17 of PEMRA (Amendment) Act, 2007 ordained compilation and submission of an annual report for each financial year to the president and to arrange for its publication and circulation to the media and public.
“As a departure from the normal practice this report is a consolidated review of the regulatory authority’s performance during the financial years 2010-2014. Though, the report has been delayed for four years due to frequent changes in PEMRA, however, we are striving to make it a regular annual feature to keep abreast all our valued stakeholders about regulatory initiatives and their micro and macro economic impact on national landscape,” he added.
Rathore further said that this was the first ever PEMRA report which would give its reader the insight about financial position of PEMRA. “The previous PEMRA report never contained depiction of books of accounts which is the distinct feature of this report,” he added.
The consolidated report reveals that PEMRA has so far issued 91 licenses for indigenous satellite televisions. Of this, 50 licenses are of entertainment category, 35 news and current affairs, four educational TV, one health and one agricultural TV channel licenses have been issued. Besides, 26 landing rights permissions have been issued to off-shore channels. Similarly, 3,600 cable TV licenses, six MMDS, one IPTV, four Mobile TV and two mobile audio licenses were issued by PEMRA that are contributing remarkably as catalyst of socio-political change in society.
The report states that new vistas have opened up for investment and employment in the broadcast sector. To a safer estimate, this buoyant sector has observed cumulative investment of about $3 billion in distinct forms and has created employment for more than 200,000 people of diversified qualification and skills. If this brisk continued, it is estimated that the cumulative investment would touch $4 billion mark by the end of financial year 2016. Thus, the direct and indirect employment would tend to multiply. This has paved for opportunities in allied businesses like production houses, advertising agencies, music and performing arts.
On operational accounts, PEMRA report says that illegal up-linking by three channels was stopped. PEMRA raided more than 21,000 cable TV operators during the period and 2,803 systems were seized. Penalties worth millions were imposed on TV, radio and cable operators. Nearly 100 foreign channels, being run illegally on cable networks, were closed and notably six illegal FM radio stations preaching hate and extremism were shut down.
It states that the electronic media today has emerged as one of the fastest growing and competitive sectors in Pakistan. It is presumed that this report would provide insight to readers about PEMRA’s performance, initiatives, regulatory challenges and emerging trends and technologies in the field of electronic media in Pakistan.