GoM to discuss telecom, broadcasting and infotech issues on Thursday

NEW DELHI: A Group of Ministers (GoM) on telecom, set up to study various issues related to the industry and allied fields, is slated to meet tomorrow.

It is expected that the high-powered government panel may discuss the issue of convergence and a proposed over-arching regulator for telecom, broadcasting 

and infotech.

Though the information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is out of Delhi today, he is expected to be back tomorrow (25 September) to attend the GoM meet.

The GoM is likely to take up the issue of Convergence Communications Bill 2001 (CCB), which is pending Parliament's okay to be enacted into a law. But a parliamentary panel has suggested over 70 amendments in the bill, on the lines of a law enacted by Malaysia.

The bill seeks to have a super regulator for the three mentioned sectors of the industry, under Communications Commission of India.

Of late, there has been a demand from a section of the industry that without waiting for the CCB to be passed by Parliament, a regulator should be set up for the broadcasting sector, considering the various issues that keep cropping up these days.

Prasad is of the view that the broadcast industry needs a regulator, but has not given any time frame for such an entity to come into force.

It needs to be seen how Prasad articulates the industry's viewpoint to other heavyweights of the GoM, that includes the ministers of telecom and IT, finance, home and defence.


Meanwhile, Prasad is also scheduled to meet up with finance minister Jaswant Singh tomorrow on the issue of Doordarshan News channel that is being proposed to be re-launched with additional government dole of Rs 1,320 

million per annum.

The finance ministry mandarins have objected to a proposal for funding prepared by the Prasar Bharati, pointing out that any serious proposal for a channel should also have revenue projections that is missing in the case of 

DD News.

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