Hope runs high as Anurag Thakur takes charge of I&B Ministry

As the M&E industry welcomes the newly anointed minister, it looks forward to a level-playing field for stakeholders and a strong policy roadmap for recovery and growth in the post-Covid era

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 9, 2021 8:35 AM
Anurag Thakur

TV broadcasters, print media companies and radio operators are upbeat as the new Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Anurag Thakur takes office. Collectively, the M&E industry expects the minister to provide a level-playing field for everyone in the value chain.

The sector is also optimistic that Thakur will engage with stakeholders to prepare the policy roadmap for stronger growth in a post-Covid era.

Among the long-standing demands of broadcasting sector are infrastructure status, liberalized licensing regime, and a stable regulatory climate.

Last year, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) had sought a stimulus package from the government in the form of economic relief and regulatory flexibility so that all broadcasters, especially the smaller businesses, can be helped to get back on track.

Broadcasters are hopeful that Thakur will address all their concerns and bring positive changes to the television ecosystem.

Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network said, “My heartiest congratulations to our newly appointed I&B Minister and Youth Affairs & Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur. Our industry has witnessed a paradigm shift and a multitude of policy changes in the past few years. With the versatility of his experience and his policy dexterity, I’m confident that Mr Thakur will take the Indian media industry to new horizons. I’m looking forward to his dynamic leadership in uplifting the broadcast industry and also making invaluable contributions to our country’s development.”

“Anurag Thakur is known for his clear articulation. Hence, we hope that under his leadership, policy statements will become unambiguous, and a level playing field will exist across various distribution channels,” said Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit Nagpal.

According to a senior official from a TV broadcasting company, the appointment of Anurag Thakur as I&B and Sports minister bodes well for both industries.
"As a long-standing parliamentarian, former chairman of the IT Committee and President, BCCI, Anurag Thakur understands the issues faced by both M&E and sports sectors.

"Since he has also travelled widely, he understands the potential of the champion sector and would want to engage with policymakers and stakeholders to lay a new policy roadmap for a strong recovery both from the Covid pandemic and the heavy-handed licensing and regulatory burdens,” said a senior official from a TV broadcasting company.

The print media companies have their own share of issues like rising costs of newsprint and drop in ad revenue due to the rise of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter.

"We, at The Times Group, take this opportunity to extend warm wishes to the Honourable I&B minister, Anurag Thakur. We hope, and, believe that under his dynamic leadership, the sector will play a key role in the post-pandemic resurgence that the country is looking forward to. We are looking forward to working closely with him and making India growth story an example for the rest of the world to follow," stated BCCL Chairman, Executive Committee Sivakumar Sundaram. 

"We convey our Best wishes to Union Minister Honourable Anurag Thakur for taking charge of Information & Broadcasting ministry. We hope that the policy decisions and implementation under his guidance will have amplifying and far-reaching positive effects on the sector,” said DB Corp Director Girish Agarwal.

The FM radio operators, who are worst off due to the pandemic, have been demanding the government to allow news on private radio stations besides a liberal FM radio policy.

“We welcome Anurag Thakur to the media and entertainment world! The FM radio industry has been battered by COVID-19, far more than any other media industry. We hope that the new honourable minister meets with industry representatives to discuss urgent relief measures. Without these, a lot of radio broadcasters could go under,” ENIL MD and CEO Prashant Panday, MD and CEO.

Nisha Narayanan, Director and COO, RED FM and Magic FM also welcomed the new minister and said, "I would like to congratulate Anurag Thakur for taking charge as Minister Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports. We look forward to working with the ministry and you to take the radio industry to greater heights."

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