Sebi told to monitor private treaties to stop paid news

Sebi told to monitor private treaties to stop paid news

Press Council of India has asked Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to monitor private treaties between corporate entities and media houses for favourable coverage to check paid news.

“The PCI has advised Sebi to initiate steps to tackle paid news in private treatise in Securities field,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) told a parliamentary standing committee in its action taken report on the panel’s recommendations to curb paid news in 2013.

The panel asked the Ministry to detail the “concrete steps” taken by the Sebi on the PCI’s suggestion so that the shortcomings “identified” in the existing guidelines or legislations should be taken up for revision “at the earliest.”

“The committee trusts that bringing transparency in private treaties will curb paid news to a great extent,” it added. The Ministry tabled its action taken report in Parliament during its Monsoon Session last week.

A private treaty is an agreement between the media company and another non-media company in which the latter transfers its certain shares to the former in lieu of publication of advertisements, space and favourable coverage, the I&B Ministry told the panel.

Making a submission before the committee in 2012-13, Prasar Bharati described such private treaties as “another form of paid news”.

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