LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday issued show-cause notices to 72 cable TV operators in the Lahore region for showing excessive foreign content during the last two days after expiry of the deadline, Oct 15.
Pemra had announced on Aug 31 that strict action would be taken against the channels airing foreign content more than the prescribed limit and the traders selling illegal Indian Direct-to-Home (DTH) sets.
Only 10pc of the airtime is allowed for foreign content while the maximum limit for Indian content is six percent in 24 hours.
The Pemra authorities had also fixed the time for Indian news and entertainment channels content could be shown from 4pm to 7pm.
Indian content allowed only from 4pm to 7pm
Pemra Lahore Region Assistant Manager Operations Hafiz Jamil told Dawn that they were taking strict action against the local cable TV networks for showing excessive foreign content.
He said the regional general manager had proposed a comprehensive plan with coordination of sub-offices Faisalabad and Sargodha and constituted 16 teams. During the drive, 124 inspections of cable TV operators were made across the region and only 39 violations were observed on Oct 16 when the teams confiscated 161 equipments.
Mr Jamil added the regional office Lahore, sub-offices Faisalabad and Sargodha had made 102 inspections of cable TV operators across the region and observed 33 violations. The teams issued show-cause notices to the violators of different cable TV operators and also seized equipment of 70 during raids. He said eight
FM radio stations were also inspected and no one was found violating the Pemra rules.
“Pemra teams faced resistance from certain cable TV operators and police were called to establish Pemra writ. The operators were first issued notices and given a chance to defend themselves before the decision to cancel their licences.”
Pemra regional manager Dr Safdar Rehman said the Lahore team had not yet registered any case against the cable TV operators and no one was found guilty of showing foreign content in the area.
According to our Sialkot correspondent, five cable operators’ offices were sealed on Monday by Pemra teams in Sialkot.
Pemra Inspector Qaiser Shehzad Tarar told reporters the operators were found airing Indian channels in Maraakiwal, Merajkey, Uggoki and Sambrial on their cable networks.
Teams seized equipment found in the offices and recommended cancellation of their licences.