Gilgit - Baltistan

Gilgit – Baltistan to get more FM radio licences

ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) approved revised TV/Radio Broadcasting Operation Regulations making it possible for the licence holders to launch FM radio in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

The revision of the operation regulations has removed a number of anomalies in old version of regulation enforced after the enactment of Pemra Act 2007 and Pemra Rules 2009.

In the 73rd meeting held at Pemra headquarters on Tuesday, the authority also approved opening up Phase-X for awarding FM licences in 30 districts of the country including GB and AJK.

Though Pemra awarded 154 FM licences across the country, there are still a number of areas having inadequate FM radio service or either no service at all. The new phase has been opened for media outreach in such areas. The meeting also decided to impose fine of Rs500,000 each on three major FM radio licensees namely Mehran Media, Media Solutions and Solar Communication for illegally transferring shares in violation of section 20 (i) of Pemra laws.

The meeting underlined the need for media access at grassroots level and emphasised that the cable TV should have penetration in remote areas of the country.

“Higher cable TV penetration would provide people an easy reach to information, education and entertainment and they would get themselves acquainted with the developments taking place in country and across the globe,” said a Pemra official.

Members of Pemra showed concern over unethical practices by certain hosts and anchors of talk shows.

“The meeting took serious notice of undesirable media practices whereby the TV channels in particular have started violating privacy of the people in disregard to social norms and ethics,” the official said and added that airing controversial morning show by a private TV channel was a violation of the Pemra laws.

The authority warned the channels not to repeat any such practice failing which it would act against them according to the rules.

The members, however, acknowledged that after Pemra intervention, entire team of that morning show was sacked by the TV management. The authority also reiterated its resolve to curb the derogatory and defamatory satirical programmes aired by many channels in the guise of parody that were inadvertently being used for demeaning and defaming the dignitaries.

The meeting was attended by acting Chairman Pemra Dr Abdul Jabbar, secretary ministry of information, secretary ministry of interior, chairman PTA and other members including Mian Shams (Punjab), Israr Ahmad Abbassi (AJK), Ms Shama Parveen Magsi (Balochistan) and Ms Fareeha Iftikhar (KP).

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