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Govt finalises phase III FM radio guidelines
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NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said on Friday that efforts are on to evolvean independent, autonomous and credible mechanism to look into the issue of broadcast regulation.

Addressing the first meeting of the newly constituted Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament attached to her Ministry, she said the draft guidelines for Phase III of FM radio services had been drawn up for consideration of the Cabinet after consultations with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The Ministry was laying adequate stress on popularizing the Community Radio service, she added.

She also said the proposal for ensuring digitalization of cable services to address issues such as visibility and carriage fees and introducing Head End in the Sky (HITS) Policy had been placed before the Cabinet for approval.

Soni said FDI limits would be decided in government on recommendations of the TRAI.

Members were also informed that the regional Advisory Committees to the Central Board of Film Certification would be reconstituted shortly.

Soni assured the members that honesty, integrity and transparency would be the mainstay of the functioning of her Ministry. She assured the members that periodic meetings of the Consultative Committee would be held according to the laid guidelines.

Earlier, Minister of State Choudhury Mohan Jatua in his introductory remarks acquainted the newly appointed Members with the various media units and institutions of the Ministry.

Members cutting across party lines spoke on wide ranging issues such as Content and control mechanism for TV Channels; news on FM; community information services; foreign news channels; FDI limit in media sector; archives for valuable and prize winning programmers of Doordarshan and Akashvani in addition to film archives; functioning of censor board; lack of visibility of channels particularly DD Urdu, and the need for more transparency in the working of Prasar Bharati.

The meeting began with members paying homage to veteran journalist Prabhash Joshi who passed away in the early hours this morning. Soni noted that Joshi was one of the stalwarts and an iconic figure of Hindi Journalism.

Members who attended the meeting included Ramashankar Rajbhar, Dr. Anup Kumar Saha, Shatrughan Sinha, Dr Barun Mukherji, Mohammed Adeed, Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi, Bharatkumar Raut, Dr V Maitreyan, Anil Madhav Dave, M P Achuthan, Jaya Bachchan, and Ranee Narah.

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