Solution to electronic media issues: Notification to form task force soon: Pemra chairman
ISLAMABAD: Pemra is constituting a task force for resolving issues pertaining to electronic media industry by reviewing existing Pemra laws and recommending appropriate proposals in this regard.
This task force would have representation of all the stakeholders including satellite TV, FM radios as well as that of media regulator. Formal notification of this task force will be issued, shortly. Mandate of this task force would be to identify issues and problems, electronic media industry facing currently and propose their solution. Muhmmad Saleem Baig, Chairman Pemra in an exclusive interview to the Jang Group on Friday afternoon expressed his firm commitment to uphold Authority’ mandate by facilitating development and growth of media industry and for the purpose task force being constituted that would review all Pemra laws with the intent to make these laws in consonance with the established international practices and to ensure level playing field for all the stakeholders. Proposed amendments would help investors in bringing latest technologies in electronic media boosting quality of programming.
Chairman Pemra further explained that Pemra is endeavoring to introduce regulatory regime and laws for Web TV and OTT (Over the Top) platforms. For the purpose, first draft has been shared with all the stakeholders so that new law is finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders.
Muhammad Saleem Baig acknowledged the hard time electronic media industry of Pakistan is facing and difficulties emerging thereof. He informed that task force constituted has been mandated to furnish suggestions for extending appropriate relief to the stakeholders within 30 days. Pemra being a regulator is committed not only to ensure but also to protect livelihood of the individuals associated with media industry.
Chairman Pemra had also expressed same sentiments before the members of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) with the firm resolve to avail all possible opportunities for redressing the issues, industry is facing for the last few years. While responding to a question, chairman Pemra informed that consultative process is underway with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for finalizing laws for OTT and Web TV. In this regard a meeting with Chairman PTA Maj Gen (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa is also scheduled. Besides, meeting with Chairman FBR will also be scheduled in the coming days in orders to chalk out workable solution for issues pertaining to finances and tax related matters of electronic media industry.
Chairman Pemra Muhammad Saleem Baig also shared a proposal for digitalization of cable TV networks with the cable TV operators to overcome financial and technical impediments towards digitalization. For the purpose, consultations with multinational companies and financial institutions will be carried out so that probability of easy loan facilities could be ensured to cable TV operators across the country for accelerating process of digitalization through advance technology. In this regard, all cable TV operators’ representative associations are being approached in order to build consensus on this proposal leading to digitalization of cable industry in Pakistan, bringing the country among the list to developed nations.
He further vowed that digitalization would be reckoned as a landmark in the history of electronic media industry of Pakistan. Digitalization will provide platform to more than 250 satellite TV channels in Pakistan and generate employments to thousands of skilled and unskilled youth.
While responding to a question Chairman Pemra appreciated positive role of private electronic media during the recent tension between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. This positive role of private electronic media was also acknowledged by the civil and military bureaucracy. He said that private electronic media in Pakistan is showing maturity contrary to that of Indian channels which are following mere jingoism, provoking viewer’s sentiments for their vested interests. Private electronic media in Pakistan has not only becomes voice of innocent people of Indian Occupied Kashmir but also spreading tales of plight of Kashmiri brothers and sisters and that of Indian aggression /atrocities to the world through their channels. Pakistani TV channels unequivocally have emerged as true representative of Kashmiris.