Minister Denies Delay In Convergence Bill

[ASIA] Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj has dismissed suggestions that India’s pending convergence/communications bill has been fraught with delays, noting that there was hardly any convergence in India as yet to regulate.

Pointing out that less than one percent of convergence has happened in the country as of now, the minister said, “Convergence is a priority, but we do not want haphazard laws like in the cable industry. We are formulating the [convergence] laws quite early. There is absolutely no delay.”

Responding to a question as to why last Friday’s meeting of the group of ministers on convergence was postponed, Swaraj said as far as she knew the reason was the inability of India’s finance minister, who heads the group, to hold the meeting. The ministries involved include those of information and broadcasting, communications and information technology.

However, she refused to divulge any details about the changes suggested in the draft bill, saying these were yet to be discussed by the group. She admitted that it was yet to be decided which ministry will be the administrative entity. The bill, which was to be introduced in the current session, has now been deferred to the budget session.

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