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|August 4, 1997||
Ban on DTH service 'purely temporary'Direct to home service will be permitted in the country only after the Broadcasting Authority of India is set up, Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy has clarified.
Responding to questions at a recent press conference in New Delhi, Reddy described as "purely temporary" the July 16 government notification banning DTH operations in the country.
The minister said the notification was issued by the Department of Telecommunications after obtaining prior consent of the information and broadcasting ministry.
Under the notification, no person would be allowed to start a DTH service in India by establishing, maintaining, working, possessing or dealing in any equipment that enables reception and dissemination of programmes from a DTH service in the country.
Reddy said he was fully confident that the proposed Broadcasting Authority would be set up during this calendar year.
Official sources indicated that the joint select committee, under the chairmanship of Sharad Pawar, which has been asked to submit its report on the bill by the first week of the monsoon session of Parliament, would seek more time to submit its report.
The employees of Doordarshan and All-India Radio will have the option of remaining with the government or joining the proposed autonomous Broadcasting Corporation of India, Reddy said.
He asserted that the Prasar Bharati Board would be accountable to Parliament and not the government of the day. General superintendent, direction and management of the affairs of the corporation will be vested with the board which would comprise a chairman, an executive member, member (finance), member (personnel) and six part-time members.
He said the board, to be financed by Parliament, would also appoint directors-general of AIR and Doordarshan, who will be its ex-officio members. A representative of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and two representatives of the employees of the corporation would also be included in the board.
He said if he had his way, he would abolish the ministry. "I want to see that this ministry withers away. I am determined to render myself jobless," was his reply when asked about the role of the ministry after Doordarshan and AIR become autonomous from September 15.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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