Nov 22, 2012 News
Previous applications for radio and television licences, some of which were pending for years, have been set aside. Bibi Shadick, who chairs the Governing Board of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority, made this known yesterday.
She said that those old applications would not confirm to the new regulations of the recently enforced Broadcast Act, and so those persons who would have applied in the past would have to re-apply.
Once these satisfy the new requirements, including submitting a detailed business plan, they will be processed.
Shadick told a news conference yesterday that the Authority currently has no new applications ready for processing. She said that the Authority expects to have applications by January 31, 2013.
Individuals who would have applied in the past would not have their applications processed unless they form a company or trust, as applications from individuals are no longer being accepted.
But under Shadick’s watch some who had applied even after the older applicants were granted radio and television licences. They included Hits and Jams, Wireless Connection and Dr Ranjisinghi Ramroop. Shadick refused to see this as discrimination.
All licence holders under the new Act will have to make two payments – one for the spectrum and another fee for the licence. The licence fee would amount to a percentage of the gross revenue earned by the broadcaster.
Shadick said that the Board has met with current broadcasters and has indicated that they will be given time to put together all the details that are required when submitting a new application. Current broadcasters have been written to indicating that they can continue to broadcast until they are licenced under the new Act.
Shadick also defended her suitability and that of the other board members, for functioning in the position.
She said that while some have suggested that she may not even be able to “use a remote,” she contended that the appointments are at the discretion of the President and that the work of the board is mainly administrative.
Shadick is a former Minister and now functions mainly as an Attorney-at-Law.
The other members are UG lecturer, Sherwood Lowe (nominee of the leader of the Opposition) and presidential nominees, Project Manager of the One Laptop Per Family Project, Margot Boyce; Captain Gerry Gouveia; former army chief, Major General Norman McLean (ret’d); Head of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Dr. Dindyal Permaul and Charles S. Ramson Jr, a lawyer at the Office of the President.
The Board is tasked statutorily with licencing in the Broadcast Sector and ensuring compliance of broadcasters with the provision of the Broadcast Act.
The new Act came into force on August 28, 2012.
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