July 27, 2019 06:42 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
KATHMANDU, July 27: As the government struggles to implement clean feed policy in Nepal at the earliest, Development and Technology Committee of the lower house has agreed to revise the under-discussion Advertisement Regulation Bill and introduce the policy a year later.
The clean feed system allows television signal distributors to replace advertisement in foreign television channels with local advertisements as practised in most of the developed countries. But in the absence of clean feed system, foreign television channels appear on Nepali television sets in real time with their original advertisements. Nepali advertisers have been lobbying to introduce clean feed policy for years stating that it would help promote Nepali products.
Amid strong reservations from Indian advertisers not to implement the clean feed policy in Nepal, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota has been insisting on introducing the policy through a new legislation. But reluctant to implement the new policy, Nepali television signal distributors have been pressing the government and parliament not to introduce the new system saying it is too expensive.
“Our committee has unanimously agreed to enforce the clean feed system one year after the commencement of the revised law,” committee chairperson Kalyani Khadka told Republica.
Khadka further defended the committee’s decision stating that they decided to revise the bill keeping in view the concerns raised by the television signal distributors and cost issues.
The government had earlier proposed that the clean feed policy can be implemented after issuing a notice on Nepal Gazette. The National Assembly had endorsed the bill revising various provisions but not the clean feed provision which was an issue of concern of Indian advertisers and Nepali television signal distributors.
Earlier, speaking at the parliamentary committee, Minister Baskota had stressed the need for implementing the policy immediately stating that it would help the media sector to prosper and create more employments.
Lawmakers from Rastriya Janata Party Nepal Laxman Lal Karna and Iqbal Miya had demanded scrapping the clean feed provision while registering amendment proposals on the Advertisement Bill.