Broadcast Bill: I&B invites b’casters for suggestions

NEW DELHI: While the government and broadcasters are still divided on the contents of the Broadcast Bill, the Information and Broadcasting ministry secretary Asha Swaroop today invited broadcasters to come up with a unanimous code of conduct and submit it to the government.


At the ASSOCHAM conclave in New Delhi today, Swaroop along with broadcasters like INX Media chief strategy operator Peter Mukerjea, BAG Films managing director Anurradha Prasad, Cable Operators’ Federation of Indian president Roop Sharma, Ashok Manshukhani and ASSOCHAM Cyberlaw committee chairman and Supreme Court of India senior lawyer Pavan Duggal were on the panel – Policy support in M&E for making it globally competitive.


The discussion clearly saw a divided opinion between broadcasters and the cable body on the need for a broadcast bill in the first place. While broadcasters like Mukerjea and Prasad were against the implementation of a code of conduct and in favour of self regulation, the cable bodies represented by Sharma and Mansukhani felt vice versa.


Reacting on the debate, Swaroop said, “The fact is that there is no consensus on what should be the shape of the broadcast regulatory bill. You need not question the intention of the government. It is not like the government wants to bring some kind of censorship and control. If the industry doesn’t come up with some unanimous code of conduct that is legislatively light and facilitative, then the government will have to enforce some kind of rules. It is very difficult to come up with something that gets a consensus from everyone.”