Speaking at Goafest 2014, Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar assured the media that all decisions will be taken by the Government only after consulting all media stakeholders.
At the same time, he said that it is imperative to make Doordarshan and All India Radio competitive and turn them into high quality public broadcaster that people can refer to. “They should give competition to other channels,” he said.
Commenting on Reliance taking over Network18, the Minister said that if it is a market function happening within a company’s own framework, it is not a government issue. “They are not taking over DD,” he said. Speaking further, he said, “Cross-media ownership is definitely a matter of debate, and we are seeking views from all, but as long as it is under a legal framework, the government has no issues.”
Javadekar added, “We are speaking to all FM broadcasters and Phase III will be announced shortly. We are taking a decision on Phase III and IV of the digitisation process and 11 crore set top boxes may be imported from China. The Ministry is considering whether to give impetus to local manufacturing of set top boxes, or to import them from China.”
While addressing Goafest delegates, Javadekar mentioned that one of his priorities is to enhance the position of DD and AIR and added that he has conveyed to cable operators that while he is concerned about their problems, it has been made clear to them that he will be receptive to their issues once they agree to carry DD in the mainline.
About TAM, the I&B Minister said that although ratings are an issue, “if the advertisers don’t have a problem, then who are we to do anything? Let the market forces decide.” He further said, “If the advertisers and broadcasters are coming together to present a viable solution, then it is a better option.”