Despite all the optimism shown by the radio industry, the government does not have any plans to allow news and current affairs on FM radio. I&B Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi made it clear at an exclusive interaction with exchange4media.
When pointed out that even without the government’s permission FM stations were carrying news and current affairs items, Dasmunsi said, “If somebody is doing it, there is enough power given in the hands of the district administration to handle it.”
But when pointed out that there was no instance of government action in this regard, the Minister countered by saying that in a few cases action had been taken. “How many district’s information do you keep?” Dasmunsi counter-queried.
When asked about the new Community Radio policy, Dasmunsi said, “It will revolutionise the society as far as academic and cultural aspirations are concerned.”
When asked whether the government was planning for any regulatory body for the Community Radio stations, Dasmunsi said, “There is no need for any regulatory body for Community Radio stations. They will be monitored by the normal system of All India Radio.”
On the Broadcast Bill, Dasmunsi reiterated that it would be placed before the Parliament in the Budget session. Asked about the critical remarks made by the Supreme Court on outsourcing of sting operations by news channels, Dasmunsi said, “It is certainly unethical.”
However, when asked whether the government would come out with stringent regulations, he said, “We have not applied our mind to it. We believe there should be least infringement upon the operations of the media.”