Inter-ministerial group to study TRAI recommendations

Inter-ministerial group to study TRAI recommendations New Delhi: An inter ministerial group has been set up to examine recommendations made by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on whether the Centre or state governments should be allowed to enter broadcasting.

Officials said that the panel set by Information and Broadcasting ministry would be headed by J S Mathur, Additional Secretary in the ministry.

The I&B ministry will form its views on the TRAI recommendations after the panel studies them following which the future course of action will be decided.

The ministry had earlier through a letter written on November 30th last year sought clarifications from TRAI on whether state or central governments or entities on which they have control could be allowed to enter broadcasting or distribution of channels.

In reply to the letter, TRAI had said that central government ministries, departments, companies, joint ventures or entities which belong to or are funded by centre or state governments "should not be allowed to enter in to the business of broadcasting and or distribution of TV channels."

TRAI's recommendations hold implications for the Tamil Nadu government's Arasu Cable TV Corporation Private Limited as it needs to obtain fresh permission from the I&B ministry after Digitisation of cable services is implemented in Chennai.

Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh Governments have also approached the I&B ministry for proposals related to broadcasting.