Parliament panel asks I&B ministry to consider separate regulator for broadcasting

Parliament panel asks I&B ministry to consider separate regulator for broadcasting

A parliamentary panel today asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to evaluate the need to have a separate regulator for broadcasting sector, keeping in view its "tremendous growth".

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) at present acts as the watchdog for broadcasting as well as telecom sectors.

The Standing Committee on Information and Technology, in its report tabled in the parliament, said the broadcasting sector has seen enormous growth in the number of satellite TV channels with the introduction of DTH services, digitisation of cable TV networks, setting up of independent TV rating agency and introduction of FM radio services across the country.

In view of the tremendous growth in the broadcasting sector and the ever-increasing number of satellite TV channels, the panel said, "the government may undertake an evaluation of the need to have a separate regulator for the broadcasting sector".

"Till the time the government decides to have a separate regulator for broadcasting sector, steps may be taken to empower TRAI through modifications in the TRAI Act, 1997 for effective enforcement of its regulations," it said.

The panel also asked the information and broadcasting ministry to put in place a monitoring mechanism with an aim to ensure digitisation of cable television in the country.

It also recommended the ministry to carry out an Impact Assessment study of cable TV digitisation so that a clear picture emerges as to how far digitisation has actually been able to achieve its objectives.

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