Speculations in the media over disagreement and divergence of views in the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) have been brought to a halt. The IBF is the apex body of the broadcasting industry in India. The write-up in a section of press stated that at the IBF board meeting on Tuesday, representatives of various member organizations were not in agreement and that there was a possibility of setting up two sub-committees over the price-issue with cable operators, service tax and FDI. Naresh Chahal, Director-Finance, IBF, speaking exclusively to exchange4media, has categorically quashed all such media reports and termed them as “misleading”.
During the board meeting in Delhi, the IBF took a decision to set up an eight-member committee comprising Jawahar Goel of Siticable, Deepak Shourie of Discovery Networks, G. Krishnan of TV Today Network, Mahesh Prasad of Sahara, Peter Mukerjea of STAR, Kunal Dasgupta of Sony TV and Vinod Bakshi of BBC. The president of IBF and CEO of Prasar Bharti, who chaired the meeting, will be the eighth member of the sub-committee. The IBF meeting on Tuesday was additionally attended by Haresh Chawla of CNBC, Markand Adhikari of SAB TV, Narayan Rao of NDTV and Alex Kuruvilla of MTV.
Chahal also shared that IBF was is in the process of writing a letter to the I&B Ministry, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and the Finance Minister requesting that IBF, being the apex body of broadcasters, be consulted on policy decisions concerning the I&B sector and be involved in discussions and decision making as IBF members are affected by policy decisions.
IBF has also stepped up its demand for bringing down the customs duty on broadcasting equipment from 40.36 per cent to 22.81 per cent keeping in mind the clubbing of broadcasting alongwith telecom under the ambit of TRAI.
It is yet to be seen how the I&B Ministry and Finance Ministry respond to these initiatives. The next IBF meeting is likely to be held in September in Mumbai.