India’s telecom regulator is working on a set of recommendations on media ownership in the country, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman P D Vaghela has said. Vaghela said there were concerns over the concentration of media ownership, which, he felt, posed a threat to democracy, news reports quoting news agency PTI said.
Vaghela was speaking at the CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi on 16 November 2022. “It is antithetical to the phenomenon of concentration of media ownership. The concentration of media ownership has been identified with a number of problems. Undoubtedly, the most significant of these is the threat it poses to freedom of expression and democracy. Looking at the importance of the issue, we are in the process of framing the recommendations on the issues relating to media ownership,” a PTI report in NDTV quoted Vaghela as saying.
It may be recalled that in April this year, the regulator released a consultation paper to discuss ownership issues within the media
A Business Standard report said the fresh set of recommendations would be the second time in eight years – the last proposals in 2014 were not accepted by the government. Curbs on political parties from entering the broadcasting space and restrictions on corporate houses investing in the sector were among TRAI’s suggestions.
Vaghela’s remarks come amid the Adani Group’s takeover of NDTV, a leading name in India’s media sector.