The Union government has finally given up its plan to introduce the Broadcast Regulation Bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament. The government has issued a statement, which contains a list of Bills to be introduced in Parliament in the current session; the Broadcast Bill is conspicuous by its absence.
There has been a lot of conflicting media reports whether the broadcast industry will be consulted or not on the Bill. Information & Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi’s recent statement that the Bill would “neither be diluted nor be polluted” also heightened apprehensions in the media.
With today’s statement issued by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, which is incidentally headed by the I&B Minister himself, it is now clear that the government has taken the media industry’s objections seriously and there would be a fair review of the Bill after consultation with the industry.
Two of the major broadcasting bodies, Indian Media Group (IMG) and Indian Broadcasting Forum (IBF), have already met the I&B Secretary and raised their concerns over many of the provisions in the proposed Bill which have been described as draconian by the industry.
The Monsoon session of Parliament began on Monday, July 24, and will last till August 30. The session will have a total of 25 sittings spread over 38 days. Some important Bills to be introduced include The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2006, and The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2006.