| 22 Sep 2023
MIB favours self-regulation, TRAI says some regulation is mandatory

NEW DELHI: Even as he favoured the idea of self-regulation in the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu stressed today that ‘regulation should not become strangulation’.

Inaugurating the CII Big Picture meet here, he said the government was in favour of playing the role of a facilitator and would join hands with the media to help its growth

Referring to cinema, he said that though India produced more films than any other country in the world, it faced the problems of less screens and had a share of less than one per cent in world cinema.

While he was impressed with the growth achieved by cinema, he advised filmmakes to avoid vulgarity and obscenity, and also said the film should be able to convey some kind of message.

Referring to television, he said Indian television was very vibrant and exciting and had grown to more than 800 channels.

The third Phase of Radio FM was expected to bring in $390 million.

He said the Government had also liberalized the foreign direct investment scheme to help the industry to grow.

Expressing his concern for the growth of the media, he said he would hold separate meetings with all stakeholders.

He said that the situation had changed now with the growth of the smart phones which already had a speed of 25mbps and this may further increase with the growth of 4G.

The country also hoped that all citizens will be equipped with wi-fi by 2019. The mobile was already the second largest in the world was expected to grow to 500 million by 2020.

Music streaming had grown from 49 per cent to 61 per cent in just one year and video on demand was gaining popularity.

The internet had grown to 81 million of which 41 million used the local language, stressing the need for using regional languages to reach the people.

The entertainment industry was today capable of creating five billion jobs a year, he said.

Earlier Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman R S Sharma said that while some regulatory framework was necessary for such a large media, it should be non-discriminatory. Furthermore, it had to be transparent, ensure quality, and give choice to the consumer.

Speaking in a session later, he said that India was a very cost-effective market and the average mobile recharge was just Rs ten.

In view of this, the cost of transaction facilities had to come down. Connectivity had to be cost-effective and price-sensitive and cable television can be used to provide broadband connectivity as well.

There was great scope for better measurement systems and it was important to let the consumer decide what he wanted.

He said several recommendations in this regard by TRAI were pending a final decision by the concerned Ministry.

Eminent filmmaker Ramesh Sippy who is on the CII Entertainment Committee applauded the Minister for his remark that regulation should not be strangulation. ‘But nothing comes for free,’ he added.