I&B Secretary Uday Varma assured all help to make India a digital hub and suggested the setting up of a ratings body
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 15, 2013
Addressing the audience via a recorded message at the Valedictory Session of FICCI Frames 2013 yesterday evening, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, said the Government will facilitate and play a key role for rapid M&E growth in India. He was answering the sentiments raised in the inaugural session that the M&E industry is a ‘huge economic multiplier’ as India goes into the next two decades of its economic trajectory. The Minister said that he personally was a believer that freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend.
Recorded Address of Union Minister for I&B, Manish Tewari
Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said, “I am delighted to be here. There are high quality discussions that have happened at FICCI Frames that provide inputs for the industry. I am proud to share that digitisation is happening quietly and smoothly in record time.”
Focussing on various other subjects discussed during the three days of deliberations, Varma said that there are plans to give out 839 radio licences. With regard to the lack of a rating system, he suggested coming out with guidelines for setting up a body to do the rating. He also suggested that with regard to the tax issue, he is willing to work with the film industry to develop a case for the industry when GST comes into play.
Later in his address, Varma said, “I hope to make India the digital hub of the world, not just in terms of teleports, but digital production. We the government and the industry need to align our efforts and thinking.”
In his valedictory address, Ronnie Screwvala, MD, Disney UTV, said, “It is a challenging task to summarise the phenomenal and interesting three days hosted by Uday Shankar and Karan Thapar. The media and entertainment industry is slated to grow by 12 per cent which is still lower than the sunrise industries. I believe that we need to fill in the gap between the phenomenal talent to grow content and match it with the commerce part of it.”
Reflecting on the positives discussed during the conference, he added, “After waiting for the last 20 years, digitisation has finally been implemented and this is fantastic news for TV and broadcasting, though I still believe it will take two-three years for revenue monetisation. I also believe that the solution to the lack of a rating system lies in our hands. There is a lot to celebrate with regard to new media. Reflecting on the dynamism of the Indian markets, I am happy to share that we are the only country where print is growing and are the largest DTH market in the world. Also today gaming and radio have become viable businesses; the regional market has grown phenomenally. “
Pointing out a few areas of concern, Screwvala said, “We lack unanimity in the industry, I think it is the obligation for every leader to look at our individual contribution to help the industry grow. We also lack innovation in the M&E sector. Cinema needs to make consumers come out of the house. I want to conclude by adding that a combination of data, bandwidth and content is going to be more valuable than all. “
Uday Shankar thanked the participants, speakers and the FICCI team for putting together the show. He said, “We have a big task set out in front of us which is to engage with a billion consumers and to produce a Rs 1,000-crore blockbuster. But it heartening that everyone here agreed that though ambitious, it is an achievable target. I would also like to announce that FICCI is setting up a Centre for Regulatory Excellence that will align with corporate India’s objectives with that of the Government with a specific focus on M&E industry."