Uniform media policy not feasible hints Prasad

NEW DELHI: The Indian media barons may be proposing a uniform media policy for the print and electronic (radio and television) media, but the government does not seem to favour such a move.

"You cannot cage technology by a uniform media policy," Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Ravi Prasad said on Tuesday, indicating that fast changing technology would hamper formulating an overarching media policy.

Talking to journalists after a meeting with a delegation comprising some of the powerful media barons of the country, Prasad said even the Convergence Communications Bill, that envisages a super-regulator for the sectors of  telecom and broadcasting with an aim to being about uniformity, "needs to be re-looked". The Bill is pending for an okay from the policy-makers after a parliamentary panel suggested 70-odd amendments before it could be thought of being enacted into a law.

Elaborating on the government's role in the media, Prasad said that it could be that of facilitator without having a control over the media. "The government can come out with an expansion-oriented policy," he added, hinting that suppression of foreign investment in the field of media is not something that the government is likely to do.

Asked about the demands of the India media baron on level playing field and uniformity in the foreign investment guidelines in the print and electronic medium, Prasad said, "If there is a need for revisiting that, we'd do it. But that cannot happen now, immediately."

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