Cable TV

Home Ministry plans to scrap security clearance norms for MSOs

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NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry has recently streamlined and relaxed national security clearance norms for certain sensitive sectors including the media sector, the Lok Sabha was told today.

The Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said the new policy guidelines include doing away with national security clearance for multi system operators (MSOs) in the media sector.

The guidelines are aimed at bringing about a healthy balance between meeting the imperatives of national security and facilitating the ease of doing business and promoting investment in the country.

It may be recalled that while several MSOs had been waiting endlessly for security clearances to ensure they get licences for digital addressable system (DAS) from the Government, the Home Ministry had, earlier this year, indicated requirement of fresh security clearance before renewal of permission can be considered.

Then in June, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had asked MSO applicants to file their applications in an affidavit, wherein they would give assurance that they have no criminal cases pending against them, and that they would shut down if they were refused security clearance. However, it now seems that these steps would be done away with completely with the Home Ministry changing its stance on security clearance for MSOs.

Meanwhile in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said security clearance is a pre-requisite for grant of permission to TV channels.

Hence, the Ministry has not permitted any private satellite TV channel without security clearance by the Home Ministry. In cases where security clearance is denied or withdrawn, action is taken towards cancellation of permission under the Guidelines.

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