Every year, broadcasting industry crosses its fingers, waiting eagerly for the government to announce some good news for it in the Budget but like the previous years, Modi Government too has no sympathetic heart for the industry. Although UPA government did not hesitate in passing its responsibility of Digitisation on the private unorganized cable TV industry, creating digital infrastructure to boost the economy, Modi government has also not given a thought to Industry’s plight in its budget proposals for the year 2015-16.
The very basis of our democracy's existence is Politics. But this mJL that was initially a method to have a favourable Government for the citizens, since long has been exploited in real sense. And today the situation has become so worse that 'Polities' is used in terms of Tactics' and not anything else. Tactics here mean the schemes that are played to let down others and ultimately upgrade own-self. The influence of Politics has been very far reaching and today we find it in every field of our life. Be it workplaces, colleges, societies etc.
All the noise about CAS has died down now. There are no complaints from the subscribers. Infact complaints have increased from the DTH subscribers where the signals get switched off without notice and channels go missing. World cup fever is also down. So there is all calm on the broadcasting front.
Welcoming the proposed “Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006”, which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, is planning to introduce in Parliament in the near future, the members of the Entertainment Industry Leaders’ Council of ASSOCHAM organized a National Conference of all the Broadcasters/ Cable Operators & related stakeholders to have a wider discussion & better understanding on the proposed Bill on 8th September, 2006 at The Oberoi, New Delhi.
The Draft Broadcasting Bill has put all the broadcasters in a shock. It has made them run to save their lives. According to them the new Draft Bill has given a severe blow to the freedom of broadcasters, who, till now were enjoying at the cost of the cable operators. These cable operators are already pressurised by the rules of stringent laws since 1995 when Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Ordinance was enacted. Cable operators were even made responsible for the content and advertisements on the channels when they neither produced nor broadcast them.
Cable TV in India started with one video channel in 1989 by small entrepreneurs giving a low cost entertainment to the masses including educational and informative programmes. Low cost of this service and variety of programmes made the industry grow to a gigantic size of 18 million households in a short span of “/years. Today we have :
Cable Television, an innovation In the Indian context, by hooking up of 26 million Cable TV homes, without any support, financial or moral, from the government of India, became a centre of attraction, from the taxation angle by the Indian Revenue service, by way of levy of all sorts of taxes arbitrarily. Uninformed politicians and bureaucrats view this facility only as Home Cinema’ and cause harassment of the people engaged in this occupation. Down the line, in the enforcement machinery, this industry has been acing the onslaught of corrupt officials, who are semi-literate and as uninformed as their masters.
In response to the Supreme directive in the Union of into versus the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) case in February 1995 in which airwaves were declared public property and were to be regulated by an independent authority with statutory status; which ultimately prevents monopolies and protects viewers to access a range of services programmes and views, enough emphasis has been given to codify the BAI in the Broadcast To pioneer the cause of listener and viewers against the authority of the broadcasters-be of public or private; the BAI is being constituted.
Having embraced the mantra of liberalization six years ago, India is, today, integrating with the new borderless global economy. The economic liberalization has been greatly aided and accelerated by the media liberalization. In fact, the two are totally complimentary.
In recent history, no other business visitor to India has attracted more attention than the whistle-stop tour of the world’s richest man -Bill Gates. Our country’s corporate titans hung onto every word of his, drinking it in like gospel truths, with emotion bordering mass hysteria.
Addressing a delegation of the Cable Operators Federation of India led by Mrs. Roop Sharma on Feb. 13, 1997, the Union 1 & B Minister Mr. C.M. Ibrahim declared that “ The Broadcast Bill will play an important role in regulating the industry by minimising if not eliminating confusion and chaos caused by unregulated growth”. He however agreed with COFI’s demand that “Cable Operators should be heard and consulted prior to the formulation of the proposed legislation.” The meeting was also attended by Mr. N.P. Nawani I & B Secretary and Mr. K.S. Sarma, Director General, Doordarshan.
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