A wishlist for I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu…

11 Jul,2016


By Anuka Roy


A highlight of last week’s ministerial reshuffle was the appointment of senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu as the new Minister for Information and Broadcasting. He succeeds Arun Jaitley, who had held the portfolio since November 2014. In MxM Mondays this week, we asked a cross-section of the industry to offer their expectations from the new I and B minister.


Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited

First of all, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Shri Venkaiah Naiduji for his appointment as the Information and Broadcasting minister. I am absolutely delighted that he has come on board. He is a very experienced and very seasoned minster and because media is such a dynamic sector and is seeing so many changes, the I&B Ministry will benefit from his experience and his acumen. Therefore, we will be able to drive this together. Along with the minister of state, who has been there for quite some time, will make a wonderful team. We would like to work with them, both as my role as CEO of Viacom 18 but more importantly as the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) media and entertainment chair, for the industry and for the company.


Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Managing Director, Eastern Media Limited, Sambad

The expectations are still the same for us because we have been following it up for different kinds of activities for print as well as radio. For radio, we are expecting Phase 3 to happen very soon. When Prakash Javadekar was there, we put up our point and now everybody keep on changing, so I do not know how far it is going to go. I hope the Phase 3 is implemented well on time, we have already submitted a letter from the AROI (Association of Radio Operators for India) also. Secondly, we also want for the print industry, I feel the DAVP (Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) markings that they are doing of the paper and for giving these ads to all the paper they have come with the marking system, I hope that gets implemented as well. Number One dailies like us will benefit from that marking. Since, we are also in the electronic sector, we have Kanak News, the number of channels that are coming up, I do not know how they can try to control and what would be the check points because it is very difficult with the mushrooming of channels, I do not know what would be there plan to combat. So, the wish list remains the same.


Dr M G Parameswaran, AAAI President and founder of Brand-Building.com

I hope the new minister will have sufficient bandwidth to help in the growth and development of this sector.





Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited

We welcome Mr Venkaiah Naidu as the Information & Broadcasting Minister. As a broadcast network, we have a few recommendations that we would like to put forth.


While the government has kept its promise and showed determination in announcing the Batch 2 of Phase 3, we are disappointed that they have ignored key recommendations made by the industry with reference to the shortcomings in the Phase 3 policy. With Mr Naidu coming on board, we would like to see renewed amendments that will contribute to the growth of the radio broadcast sector

:: It is further recommended that the three year lock-in period should be waived for new allotments done in Phase 3 to the existing radio broadcasters. The lock-in period should be imposed only once

:: Presently, the government has not reconsidered the reserve price formula that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had suggested for new towns, thus making the frequencies completely unviable for radio broadcasting companies to bid for

:: As Cable TV Digitisation is in its last phase, we would like to see it run the course of its final stage. Given the complexity of the exercise across the country and the rate at which television penetration is growing, the scale of undertaking of digitization will be a big challenge.  With all eyes on the upcoming phase, we look forward to see promising results.”


Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstorm and Venture Capitalist

So, here is my list of expectations from Venkaiah Naidu:

:: Stop censoring films. Certify, don’t censor.
:: Remove Pahlaj Nihalani.
:: Remove Gajendra Chauhan.
:: Open up more free-to-air channels on DD (Doordarshan).
:: Make DD commercially competitive.
:: De-license and poularise Community Radio.
:: Remove news restrictions on FM radio.
:: Make a big move to citizen digital broadcasting.
:: Embrace mobile broadcasting.
:: Make us first world standard in media.



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