Acting Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Muhammad Parvez Rathore presented PEMRA's performance report of its operations and accounts for the Financial Years 2010-14 to the President Mamnoon Hussain here on Thursday. Executive Member PEMRA, Kamal Uddin Tipu was also present on the occasion.
Chairman PEMRA briefed that Section 17 of PEMRA (Amendment) Act-2007 ordains compilation and submission of an annual report for each financial year to the President of Pakistan and to arrange for its publication and circulation to the media and public.
As a departure from the normal practice, the report is a consolidated review of Authority's performance during the financial years 2010-14. Though the report has been delayed for four years due to frequent changes in PEMRA, yet we are striving to make it a regular annual feature to keep abreast all our valued stakeholders about regulatory initiatives and their micro & macro economic impact on national landscape, stated Chairman PEMRA.
The Chairman further said that this is the first ever PEMRA report which would give its reader the insight about financial position of PEMRA. The previous PEMRA report never contained depiction of books of accounts which is the distinct feature of the report. The consolidated report reveals that PEMRA has so far issued 91 licenses for indigenous satellite TV. Of this, 50 licenses are of entertainment category, 35 news & current affairs, 04 educational TV, 01 Health and 01 Agro TV channel licenses have been issued. Besides, 26 landing rights permissions have been issued to off-shore channels. Similarly, 3,600 cable TV, 06 MMDS, 01 IPTV, 04 Mobile TV and 02 mobile audio licenses have been issued by PEMRA which are contributing remarkably as catalyst of socio-political change in the society.
The report states that new vistas have opened up for investment and employment in the broadcast sector. To a safer estimate, this buoyant sector has observed cumulative investment of about $3 billion in distinct forms and has created employment for more than 200,000 people of diversified qualification and skills. If this brisk continued, it is estimated that the cumulative investment would touch $4 billion mark by the end of financial year 2016. Thus the direct and indirect employment would tend to multiply. This has paved for opportunities in allied businesses like production houses, advertising agencies, music and performing arts that has never witnessed before.
On operational account, PEMRA report says that illegal up-linking by 03 channels was stopped. PEMRA raided more than 21,000 cable TV operators during the period and 2,803 systems were seized. Penalties worth millions were imposed on TV, Radio and Cable operators. Nearly 100 foreign channels of various types being run illegally on cable networks were closed and notably 06 illegal FM radio stations preaching hate and extremism were shut down. It has been concluded that the electronic media today has emerged as one of the fastest growing and competitive sectors in Pakistan.-PR