Star News given two-week uplink extention

NEW DELHI: The Indian government, while giving a two-week extension to Star News for uplinking, indicated today that it may take slightly over a month before a final view on Star News can be taken.

Towards that time the inter-ministerial group (IMG), set up to look into media laws and probable changes, would have also done some deliberations on the issue with the case of Star being the pivot around which broader issues would be discussed.

Asked by journalists today when the government sees the Star News case getting settled, a government official said, "Don't see that happening before next month." The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) too, is likely to take up the case of Star News Broadcasting investing in Media Content & Communications India Pvt. Ltd. (MCCS) only next month, the official indicated.

Pointing out that the government does not want to be seen as trying to "fix Star", the official said a two-week extension has been given as the information and broadcasting ministry has "too much of other work to do" and also give time to IMG, comprising the department of company affairs and ministries of law and I&B, to look into various aspects.

The IMG is scheduled to meet here on Saturday. The deliberations of the IMG can form the basis of the guidelines and amendments to be effected in the present rules and regulations, if need be, the government official said, refusing to be drawn into the detailed issues that the IMG is likely to examine.


The government is in the process of shooting off some more questions --- the number of which it has probably lost count --- to Star News, the official indicated.

The present set of queries relate to Touch Telecontent and some other companies and their antecedents.

Star News president Ravina Raj Kohli and a board member of MCCS, Kaushal Dalal, today met I&B ministry officials to clarify the "bafflement" of the government on some corporate issues which, the official pointed out, was conveyed to them was in "accordance with international practices".

Asked whether the government thinks MCCS conforms to the Indian practices, the official said, "We are not certain it does."

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