Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday asked TRAI reconsider the issue of imposing the 12-minute advertisement cap on news channels suggesting the implementation could be made synchronous with the government’s digitisation drive.
“For the news broadcasting industry, the advertisement cap requires a migration path synchronous with the roll-out of digitization. I hope TRAI would give it a re-consideration to this issue,” Mr Tewari said.
TRAI has been pushing for imposition of a rule from October 1 as per which TV channels, including news broadcasters can show not more than 12 minutes of advertisements every hour. The news broadcasting industry has been claiming such a move would damage viability of channels.
In his speech at the inauguration of National Media Centre, Mr Tewari also said India seems to have bucked the global trend as the newspaper market in the country is showing a double-digit growth and would emerge as the world’s sixth largest newspaper market by 2017 as per industry reports.
The regional and vernacular print sector is growing on the back of rising literacy and heightened interest of advertisers wanting to leverage these markets, he said.
He said that in India there are 86.7 crore mobile phones, 12.4 crore internet users, which were expected to grow to 37 crore by 2017 and added the new media is the meduim of the future.
Mr Tewari also said a committee under Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgul is winding down its remit to overhaul the archaic Cinematographic Act of 1952 and another task force under Sam Pitroda is close to finalising recommendations on the restructuring of Prasar Bharti.
He added another group of eminent persons is reimagining the entire universe of government communications.