10 entertainment channels were fined for airing "Indian, English and obscene content."

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has imposed a fine of Rs10 million on ten entertainment channels of the country for airing excessive Indian content for more than 10 per cent of the air time.

Confirming this, PEMRA chairperson Chaudhry Rashid Ahmad on Monday said under PEMRA law, the Federal Government may direct the Authority on policy issues. The Government directed PEMRA in 2006 to allow ten per cent foreign content to Satellite TV channels which includes six per cent Indian content. Mr. Ahmad said, “Since no such reciprocal arrangement is available to Indian Satellite TV we calculate that the excessive foreign content shown by Pakistan TV is in violation of this percentage. The violations are sometimes fined on airing excessive foreign content. The amount of maximum fine is Rs one million. Ten channels were fined.”

However, instead of paying the fine to PEMRA, most of the channels prefer to get a stay order from the higher judiciary and the case lingers on for years, he said.

PEMRA had issued show cause notices to the channels and ten entertainment channels were fined for airing excessive foreign content. The channels include Hum TV, Oxygen TV and Play TV, apart from Kohinoor, NTV, GXM and Jalwa, according to a reply submitted in Parliament by the Minister for information on behalf of PEMRA.

Complaint against vulgarity

PEMRA has recorded over 5000 complaints in October alone from members of the public against the content in entertainment channels. Its code of conduct prescribes six per cent airtime for Indian content and four per cent for other countries. Some viewers complained against vulgarity in Bollywood and ribaldry in the songs shown on TV while others said that more than 80 per cent of the content was from India.