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  Centre-AAP standoff likely over channel

Centre-AAP standoff likely over channel

Published : Feb 20, 2016, 5:25 am IST
Updated : Feb 20, 2016, 5:25 am IST

The BJP-led Central government and the Aam Aadmi Party seem to be headed for another political face-off as the Union information and broadcasting ministry is likely to suggest rejection of the Delhi A

The BJP-led Central government and the Aam Aadmi Party seem to be headed for another political face-off as the Union information and broadcasting ministry is likely to suggest rejection of the Delhi Assembly’s proposal to set up an independent television channel on the lines of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.

Sources revealed that the Narendra Modi government is likely to cite guidelines of the broadcasting regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, to reject the proposed channel as these do not allow operation of channels by government entities.

 

It is understood that the decision comes after Union law and justice ministry sought some clarification from the I&B ministry regarding the Delhi Assembly’s proposal submitted earlier this year.

The sources said that in the past the ministry had received requests from several state governments for allowing them to operate their own television channels. However, till now all such proposals have been rejected by the Central government.

“This was a peculiar issue as the matter related to setting up of a channel by a state Assembly. However, on further study of the matter it was understood that even this would go against the Trai regulations,” the sources said.

 

It is understood that it is the first time that a state Assembly has forwarded a proposal to establish its own television channel. The Delhi Assembly Speaker, Mr Ram Niwas Goel, had last month submitted a proposal for establishing an independent television channel.

In a letter to the I&B ministry, Mr Goel had sought permission to set up an exclusive channel on the lines of the two Parliament channels to telecast the Assembly proceedings live. The channel was also to have showcased other programmes of public relevance. It was learnt that the Delhi Assembly Speaker was contemplating hiring a consultant to work out the feasibility and modalities of the television project. Under the existing guidelines, the governments are not allowed to run their own TV channels, an official said.

 

The two Parliament channels — Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV — are allowed to function independently.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi