Senate panel asks Pemra to go ahead with DTH launch plan

Islamabad—Senate Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage on Monday asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to go ahead with its plan to launch an indigenous Direct to Home (DTH) television system in the country. The meeting chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha was informed by Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam that last night PEMRA held successful meeting with cable operators and decided that Pakistani DTH would be launched in November 2017 by giving time to cable operators for upgradation of their systems. However, later they announced shut down of cable, he added.
Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam said that cable operators had no problem with illegal Indian DTH and demanded to lift ban on Indian content. But they want abolishment of DTH launch plan by PEMRA, which was strange.
Kamil Ali Agha and other members assured Chairman PEMRA their support in launching of new technology of DTH in the country. Absar Alam said as per rules all TV channels were bound to make editorial committee functional to ensure self-accountability.
He said that some of the anchor persons did not abide by the decisions of the editorial committee.
He said that PEMRA had taken concrete steps to stop Indian content and Indian movies on the cable, on which Kamil Ali Agha said that the committee appreciated the step taken by PEMRA in the national interest.
He said that PEMRA was not a weak institution as it was taking action against violators across the board. However, he said that sometimes the violators obtain stay from courts by hiring services of senior counsels, which PEMRA could not afford due to lack of required funds.
The committee asked PEMRA to write to Ministry of IB&NH for increasing legal branch funds, and the committee would extend support.
About the TV rating system, the committee suggested that PEMRA should form a mechanism of reliable rating system as present system was not satisfactory.— APP

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