· WARNS OF ACTION AGAINST FASTWAY/PTC IF FOUND GUILTY OF TAX VIOLATIONS
Chandigarh, July 6
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday categorically ruled out any censorship against Fastway/PTC News or any other cable or media organisation, but made it clear that action would be taken against them if charges of tax violations by them are found true.
Reiterating his government’s stand of providing a level-playing field to TV channels and cable operators, and encouraging healthy competition among them, the Chief Minister said he would not indulge in vendetta politics but would ensure that whosoever is found guilty of any tax violations or any other act against the law of the land is penalised or otherwise actioned against.
The Chief Minister, who has all along maintained that his government would welcome and allow all TV channels and cable operators to come and establish their presence in Punjab, restated his stand in the matter, saying he was committed to ending the cable mafia and would allow any organisation to compete in a healthy environment as long as it is not found to be engaged in any unlawful activity.
Let them all come and compete for the viewers’ attention, he said in a statement issued here, adding that with a wider bouquet to choose from, the people would automatically reject any channel found to be engaged in biased dissemination of news or information.
He made it clear that ending monopolization did not mean blocking or imposing censorship on any channel or shutting down the operations of any cable network. It is in the interest of the people of Punjab to be exposed to multiple TV channels and they are mature enough to pick the most unbiased and neutral ones, he added.
The government, said the Chief Minister, would make sure the people get the choice they deserve and are not forced to consume biased coverage dished out by any one channel with monopolistic powers. He added that his government would extend all possible help to any new channels or cable operators seeking to set up shop in Punjab.
Of course, if any channel or network, be it PTC or Fastway, is found to be indulging in illegal activities in defiance of the legal provisions, they would be brought to book, he warned.