On Wednesday, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, minister of information and broadcasting, told India’s parliament in the capital that the government has been consulting stakeholders on a bill to make such moves.The proposed bill provides for the establishment of the Broadcasting Services Regulatory Authority, a body comparable to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.In the absence of a broadcast regulator, TRAI has overseen some broadcasting issues such as digital distribution and channel pricing and has offered recommendations about issues such as foreign investment.The proposed bill is the latest development in a long debate in industry and government over broadcast and content regulations (HR 10/17/07). As the debate has dragged out, the I&B Ministry has taken such decisions as issuing temporary bans to channels who air inappropriate programming. Last year, Fashion TV and Sony Entertainment Television’s AXN channel were issued such bans (HR 3/29/07).Meanwhile, on Tuesday, I&B secretary Asha Swarup said at an industry gathering in New Delhi that the government would allow foreign investment of up to 74% in broadcasting infrastructure services, a rise from the previous cap of 49%. These services include such as the Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) digital cable systems which combine cable stations into multiplex signals on just a few… Read full this story
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