DoIM to discuss with BICMA on 56 channels list: PM

The Prime Minister during the monthly meet the press assured that the government would ask the Department of Information and Media (DoIM) to discuss with BICMA on its list of only 56 channels that can be shown on cable TV in Bhutan.

There have been youth and others taking issue with this list especially as it leaves out major western music channels and with that an opportunity to not only listen and watch popular English songs but also watch popular award shows etc.

Issues have also been raised among viewers on the need at all for such a list of channels and how it brings down the choice for viewers.

The PM said that as per the information given to him by the Ministry of information and Communication BICMA met with cable TV operators on 23rd May 2017 and discussed the TV channels available and finalized the list of channels.

This list was submitted by BICMA to the BICMA board which headed by the current Ministry of Works and Human Settlement Secretary Phuntsho Wangdi approved it.

The PM said that BICMA has said that it has kept provision from time to time to add or remove channels based on the appropriateness of content.

Lyonchhen clarified that BICMA is an autonomous regulatory body that works in accordance with its own act and so the matter was not brought before the cabinet which was not aware of the issue.

He said that given that BICMA is an autonomous agency and while the government can ask them to review the process of review is done independently by BICMA.

Lyonchhen pointed out that at the same time that the Bhutanese population consisted of various segments and everybody’s interest must be taken into account.

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