New Delhi: To make faster the process under which permissions are given to run TV channels, Information and Broadcasting ministry has decided not to seek fresh security clearance for companies which have been cleared by the Home ministry and are applying for an additional channel.
Officials said that before a company is given the permission to start a TV channel, a security clearance of its directors from the Ministry of Home Affairs in necessary.
As per the practice which the I&B Ministry adopted last year and was following till recently, if a company that has been cleared from the security angle applies for an additional channel, a fresh security clearance was sought.
"On implementing this process for seeking fresh security clearance in respect of permission holder companies, it has been the experience of this ministry that the entire process of grant of permission has slowed down considerably," a memorandum issued by the I&B Ministry said.
It added that in a recent meeting, the industry also raised concerns regarding "unprecedented" delay in grant of permission for additional channels where security clearance subsists in favour of the company and its board of directors.
The memorandum dated June 25, 2014, further said I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar also has in his pronouncements laid emphasis on reviewing such processes which cause avoidable delays and to streamline them.
The memorandum said that it has been decided that henceforth the I&B Ministry would follow the earlier practice where no fresh security clearance will be sought in case a "security cleared company (with security cleared directors) seeks permission for additional TV channel(s) within the validity period of security clearance."
"Accordingly, it has been decided to grant permission to the eligible companies where security clearance is available in favour of the company and its directors on the Board within the validity period. However, a copy of the approval would be conveyed to MHA for their record and information," the I&B Ministry memorandum said.