‘Radio industry can hope for good news’

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Friday.  

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said his “heart” lay in permitting independent, private news broadcasts on FM radio channels.

Mr. Javadekar said the radio industry could “hope for some good news” during the third phase of FM expansion in the country. “There is no reason why only All India Radio news broadcasts should be carried on FM channels,” he said at a press conference.

Asked whether he would put his “signature” where his “heart” lay on the issue of radio news broadcasts, the Minister replied in the affirmative.

Pointing to a radical overhaul of Doordarshan and All India Radio, the Minister, on his first visit to Mumbai since the elections, said he wanted the State TV broadcaster to stand in the “first line” of television channels. “We will restore the past glory of AIR,” he promised.

On the issue of 100 per cent FDI in news media, Mr. Javadekar said there were two views among owners on this and he was in the process of meeting different media houses.

Referring to the issues of paid news, he said many media organisations had entered into private treaties. “They (media groups) should declare these (private treaties),” Mr. Javadekar said. The Minister said the Election Commission had also taken note of this and he would discuss the issue with the panel.

Mr. Javadekar, who also holds the Environment portfolio, said that there would be speedy clearance for pending projects in Mumbai. Specifically, he referred to a coast road, five bridges over the Mithi river and an underground tunnel for taking water from Bhandup to Malad / Kandivali .

Mr. Javadekar said his Ministry would work in “mission” and not “commission” mode. There will be a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Monday where plans to speed up pending projects would be presented.

He would again be in Mumbai with Environment Ministry officials on June 7 to talk to the State government on pending environment clearances.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 10:20:21 PM |

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