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Broadcasters slam proposed Broadcast Bill

Objections were also raised to provisions exempting public broadcaster Doordarshan from purview of the Act.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 22:43 IST

Raising objections to various provisions under the proposed Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, the Indian Media Group (IMG) on Thursday sought a "thorough review" of the draft measure on issues like cross-holdings and powers of the central government.

Objections were also raised to provisions exempting public broadcaster Doordarshan from the purview of the Act. "This is inequitable and unfair and needs to be reviewed," IMG said, arguing that since DD competed with other channels like any commercial broadcasting organisation, it cannot be classified as a public broadcaster.

The IMG is a grouping of Indian media and entertainment companies presided by Zee chief Subhash Chandra. India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie is its vice-president. Former IB chief Ajit Doval is the body's Secretary General, while its members include Times Group managing director Vineet Jain, Dainik Jagran director Shailesh Gupta, NDTV managing director Prannoy Roy, India TV's Rajat Sharma and Dainik Bhaskar director Girish Aggarwal.

IMG also objected to the provision, where the Bill gave powers to central government and demanded "safeguards".

"There is no provision... For carrying out any review of the decision taken by the government. It is therefore suggested that not only an independent Authority other than government be designated to review decision taken by the government," it said.

The provision putting restrictions on accumulation of interest as well as on cross media restrictions were dubbed as "unwarranted and uncalled for".