Dr Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, yesterday disclosed that the I&B Ministry was in the process of finalising three policy issues within the next four weeks pertaining to the print and broadcast media.
Delivering the keynote address at the exchange4media Conclave 2005, Reddy said that the I&B Ministry will soon be unveiling the second phase of private FM radio policy. There will be space for setting up at least 330 more FM stations through a tendering process. “There would be greater emphasis on growth and revenue. This move would generate huge employment opportunities and enable the country to experience a radio revolution,” he said.
The minister also announced that the way would be cleared for foreign newspapers to publish facsimile editions in India. He said, “They can enter either through the FII route or the 100 per cent route. The entry of foreign newspapers on Indian soil will not be a threat to Indian newspapers as the foreign dailies will not be able to access Indian content or Indian advertisements.”
To enable Indian newspapers to withstand competition from foreign newspapers, Reddy said, “The current ceiling on content syndication is 7.5 per cent. We will increase this to 20 per cent excluding content provided by news agencies.”
The I&B Minister also used the platform to announce that the government would review the policies pertaining to the television sector. He said that there should be “strict uplinking and downlinking guidelines, and in the next month the I&B Ministry will introduce major regulations”.
Reddy also added that he did not want “ministers to be perceived as monsters by having to be the regulator for the media industry”. Therefore, he said, a completely autonomous regulatory body will be in place soon. He said, “The autonomous body would be on a par with FCC in USA, OfCom in UK and similar institutions in foreign countries.”