New Delhi: Information and Broadcast Ministry has suspended the licence of 7 channels and cancelled the licence of 15 channels for failing to abide with conditions of licence. The Information and Broadcast Ministry had issued notices to 38 channels for not taking permission to government for changes in their board of directors and shareholding patterns. Most of them are regional channels.
The move comes on the back of West Bengal-based Saradha group companies acquiring TV channels without prior intimation of the I&B ministry in violation of the uplinking and downlinking guidelines.
I&B secretary U K Verma confirmed, “We have also issued notices to about 38 channels that have made changes in their shareholding pattern or board of directors without informing the ministry.”
After Saradha group scam of West Bengal, the government had issued notices to the 368 companies running these channels to provide information on their ownership and management control and if there were any changes in that. All channels are supposed to comply by the uplinking and downlinking guidelines or face revocation of licenses. It is also known as there are 877 general entertainment and news channels that have been given permission to operate by the ministry in last few years.
Ministry had issued notice to channels out of which 22 channels have not responded to notices of which 15 are not operational. Now ministry had decided to cancel their licenses while suspending the license of 7 channels that are operational but have chosen to ignore the government’s communication.
Out of 238 channels, about 25 channels have admitted changing in shareholder while 9 have made changes in their board of directors.
The ministry has issued notices to 32 channels who made changes in their shareholding pattern while 6 has made changes in their board of directors without informing the ministry.