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With Javdekar heading MIB, industry looks to unlock the potential of M&E

Taking charge as the new Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javdekar stressed on freedom of the press and asserted that this was very important in a democratic country like India. He recalled the Emergency era of 1975, when press freedom in the country was curtailed and added how he had joined the movement led by Jaiprakash Narayan to bring the country out of the Congress-imposed Emergency and was even jailed for 16 months. 

Javdekar praised the good work initiated by his predecessor Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and before him the guidance provided by Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu. 

The industry has welcomed Javdekar’s appointment as the I&B Minister and looks forward to creating an enabling environment for the Media & Entertainment industry. 

Read more: Prakash Javadekar is new Information & Broadcasting Minister

Ashish Bhasin, CEO – Greater South and Chairman & CEO – India, Dentsu Aegis Network:

“Prakash Javdekar is a minister who’s got a background in I&B, as he has been an I&B Minister in the past as well and it is a good thing for the nation as he is very competent and under his leadership the good work done by the I&B Ministry so far will be taken further ahead. 

There are some barriers, which are holding back the advertising and media industry, like the laborious procedures – some of them are tax-related while some are policy issues and somebody needs to get a better understanding of what the media issues are and start addressing them one by one. Significantly, the high rate of GST on advertising at 18 per cent has not been very helpful, so we are hopeful that it will be reduced and more than the tax the simplification of procedures regarding the payment of the tax will take place. We are hopeful that the I&B Minister will take up and address these issues on behalf of the industry.” 

Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India:


“We are extremely happy with the appointment of Prakash Javdekar as the Minister for Information & Broadcasting. Having met and interacted with Javdekar in his earlier role at the Ministry, we believe he is best suited for this role. We look forward to his positivity and are certain that the industry will further grow under his leadership.” 

 

Kartikeya Sharma, Founder and Promoter, iTV Network:

“I am hopeful that the able leadership of Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar will create an enabling environment where we as a media fraternity can grow and become more relevant and can serve the country in the best traditions. 

Broadcasters, particularly news broadcasters, would have the following expectations from the new government – Carriage fee for FTA channels should be made a viable option for broadcasters, whether news or non-news, so that it benefits the end users and they get a better mix of content as the continuing high carriage fees are making the business of broadcasting non-viable. Also, yearly permission renewal for the channels needs to be changed to once in three years. 

The technology changes should be accelerated so that the consumers witness the latest viewing of the content. 

The policies related to the private broadcasters should be made easy and time-bound, and the process for procurement of news channel licenses should be made smooth, including the name change, if any.” 

Shivangini Jajoria, National Head - Operations at 104.8 Ishq FM:

“I would like to congratulate Prakash Javdekar for this portfolio. He did have a stint as the Minister of Information & Broadcasting earlier and though a short one, I am positive that he would be aware of some of the changes that can help the Radio industry. So yes, I am glad he is holding this position and I wish him all the best. 

My expectations from the new I&B Minister are high. I hope he will appreciate the fact that content autonomy is something that the private FM stations are responsible enough to handle and will provide the same to us. The Ministry should allow greater content autonomy to private FM stations. Having allowed news on AIR, the government should allow news fully. 

With the private radio network increasing and reaching out to millions of people across the country, we can help disseminate news and current affairs and reach more people. We should be given the right to inform with fairness and without prejudice. 

The M&As in the radio industry should be treated as any other industry and should be made easier. This will definitely help in increased efficiencies and better utilisation of existing radio resources and this way, radio can play its part of providing local entertainment and information to a wider range of audiences.” 

Meanwhile, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18, tweeted: “Congratulations Shri @PrakashJavdekar ji for being sworn in as the Minister of I&B, and Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change. Hope to work closely with you to unlock the M&E industry’s potential.”

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