Government committed to communicating with people across media platforms: Javadekar

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today promised a stable policy regime with transparency and time-bound mechanism and said efforts would be streamlined so as to make the process of clearances speedy and transparent.

He said while addressing the “CEOs Roundtable on Media & Entertainment” by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) that the government has always promoted the Media & Entertainment fraternity as partners in growth and would remain a facilitator to encourage the growth of the industry and provide a roadmap in the interests of the people.

Javadekar said the potential of the Indian M&E industry is untapped and endorsed the CII vision of taking the Indian M&E industry to $100 billion by the end of this decade. He said the government will be “partner in progress” with the growth of the M&E industry.

Reacting to suggestions from stakeholders, Javadekar said the policies of this government would be people-centric and would aim at meeting the aspirations of the common citizens. He added that providing information, entertainment and knowledge to the citizens would be the priority of the Ministry. Innovative approaches would be encouraged so as to ensure quality information.

“This government is about communication and consensus. We will create a process in which decisions will be taken in four weeks which was taking four months earlier,” he said with reference to decisions pertaining to the broadcast sector.

The Minister was categorical that the ongoing digitisation will not be abandoned, Radio phase III licensing will be processed faster, news allowed in FM radio, current DAVP rates will be relooked and self regulation advocated for print medium.

The Minister also emphasised on the need for expanding the reach of Community Radio and aimed at opening up of 1000 Community Radio Stations in near future.

Referring to the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘Speed, Skill and Scale’, the Minister urged the media industry to strive to attain new heights.  

Praising new-age technologies, he described how the social media platforms had changed the dimensions of news reporting.

While recognising the importance of the Freedom of Speech and Expression he emphasised on the need for responsible journalism. Javadekar assured the stakeholders that their suggestions on various policy issues would be looked into in a time-bound manner.

Earlier, I&B secretary Bimal Julka assured the media that the Ministry would work as a facilitator for the industry and would work towards single-window clearances ‘with no multiple grills’ for better transparency and accountability. He said the phase III FM Radio auctions will be completed by December 2014. Julka also made a request to the M&E industry to present budget proposals to his Ministry by 23 June to be presented to the Finance Ministry.  

40 top CEOs of the M&E sector interacted with the Minister and were confident that pending decisions will not be further delayed by the new government. Issues related to broadcast, films, DTH, cable, radio, print, news broadcast were briefed by industry leaders at the CII roundtable.

 “We believe that the soft power of Indian M&E sector can bring innumerable benefits to the Indian economy. The M&E industry provides direct employment to around 10 million people and has the potential to double the number. This sector also is on the cusp of achieving the same global success that the Indian IT industry has achieved,” said CII president Ajay Shriram.

CII Media and Entertainment Committee and group CEO, Viacom 18 Media, Sudhanshu Vats said accountability, clarity and foresight from M&E stakeholders will take the sector to new heights.

In his opening address CII DG Chandrajit Banerjee said that an innovative push from the government in an enabling regulatory infrastructure and policy reforms will create a world class knowledge driven entertainment in India. 

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