Govt redrafting Broadcasting Bill, may increase FDI to 74%

Govt redrafting Broadcasting Bill, may increase FDI to 74%

New Delhi: Facing severe criticism from the industry, Government today said it is in the process of redrafting the controversial Broadcasting Bill besides considering FDI in the cable segment to 74% from the current 49%.

“We are redrafting the Broadcasting legislation after consultations with stakeholders... we will put forward minimal regulations and most of the controversial issues have been put aside," Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary Asha Swarup told reporters on the sidelines of India Digital Summit.

The draft Broadcasting Bill has been severely criticised by the industry, which is not in favour of government’s intervention in the sector.

Further on the issue of increasing FDI in the cable sector, Swarup said, “Increasing FDI to 74% is a sensible recommendation... we are looking into its modalities."

However, she declined to give any time frame for increasing FDI.

On the issue of setting up an independent broadcasting regulator, she said, “a regulatory authority for this sector is essential".

The broadcasters are also opposed to the setting up of an broadcast regulator as they feel the industry is self-regulated. The government has proposed to set up Broadcasting Regulator Authority of India consisting of officials from government. Currently, telecom regulator Trai is looking into the broadcasting issues.