HITS policy coming by year-end: Soni

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni assured today that the Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) policy would be in place by the end of this year.

Though the policy had been finalised and placed before the Union Cabinet early this year, it could not be taken up. The policy based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), however, is at a final stage for decision.


HITS will speed up the process of digitisation of cable TV services across the country.

Soni also allayed fears that the government would clamp down on content on television or bring forward any content regulation without discussion.

While her Ministry did not want to be identified only with content, the pace of dialogue on this with the stakeholders needed to be accelerated in view of pressures from the Courts, the National Commission for Women, and Parliament.

Soni expressed the hope that the Broadcast Services Regulation Bill would soon be given a final shape for introduction in Parliament. I&B Secretary Raghu Menon is currently holding discussions with stakeholders on the Bill.

Referring to the concerns relating to TRPs and carriage, Soni said digitisation was the only answer.

Reacting to views, she said the government was prepared to hold a dialogue on foreign direct investment.

Addressing the various TV news heads present, she requested that at least 5 per cent of the 168-odd hours of news broadcasting should be devoted to success stories.

She said her Ministry was presenting holding consultations with the Human Resources Development Ministry on issues such as royalty which had cropped up in connection with Phase III of FM Radio since the Copyright Act was administered by that Ministry.

Remarking on Doordarshan, which completes 50 years next month, Soni said it was a "challenge" to bring it at par with other private television channels.

"The biggest challenge before the Ministry today is to bring DD at par with other channels. DD has a big reach, maximum number of transmitters, even along border areas, and funding is also not a problem for it," Soni said.

Soni said the new advertising policy was aimed at helping the small and medium newspapers.

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