Anurradha Prasad, Managing Director, B.A.G Films & Media ( News 24, Radio Dhamaal), who is also part of the AROI, and member of CII, expresses her views on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley being given the additional responsibility of taking charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Prasad also highlights issues facing the radio and news broadcasting sector that need to be resolved with urgency and fairness.
On Arun Jaitley’s appointment as I & B minister
Prasad welcomes the decision and says, “It is great that someone as seasoned, savvy and senior as Mr. Arun Jaitley has taken this responsibility. He has been I & B Minister formerly and has been the senior most spokesperson for BJP. Also being a lawyer, Finance Minister understands all the problems of the media industry. We have a very good combination in him. I must also give credit to Prakash Javadekar in that he did a lot for the radio industry. He has a very practical way of making decisions, clearing all the bottlenecks at speed.”
She further added that one knows that though Mr. Jaitley will have paucity of time, his understanding as well as his manner of handling things is a great boost to the industry, especially when it comes to legalities and bickering issues. “The big advantage is that, no issue needs to be explained to him. He understands everything; from the issues of MSOs, LCOS, to the broadcasters. We are expecting all the bottlenecks to be sorted out with Mr. Jaitley taking on this added responsibility in his portfolio,” she further comments.
The Phase III auction process has started, so it is of utmost importance that we follow the deadline and complete the process by January, said Prasad. “From the radio industry, the other request we have is allowing news on FM radio,” she urges.
“Mr. Modi’s focus is quite on radio and with ‘Mann ki Baat’ we are expecting the radio industry to get a boost,” observes Prasad. It had been left out in the past. It is the medium for common people and one expects the government to have a huge focus, according to her.
News Broadcaster Perspective
Prasad says, “From a news broadcaster point of view the problem has been digitization, the system creation of digitization and its after effects and the fact that we should be getting our due. We want a system to evolve where we get our due. The news industry has gone through a churn precisely because there was no system in place. I am not saying benefit us, we just want a level playing field.”
Digital will also be strengthened with Arun Jaitley’s appointment, concludes Prasad.