The ministry gave its approval a few days ago for issuing licences to those who it deemed qualified
The Awami League-led alliance government gave approval to 13 new television channels, 14 FM radios and around 60 Community Radios just before stepping down from office.
Following the final approval, the information ministry gave its permission to issue licences to credible and qualified applicants.
Information Secretary, Mortuza Ahmed, told the Dhaka Tribune on Tursday that the ministry gave its approval a few days ago for issuing licences to those who it deemed qualified.
“We have selected them after scrutinising and examining their applications and physical investigation,” he said.
“The approvals were given in line with a past decision and as part of routine work. The ministry is now working on issuing letters. The qualified applicants would get there licences, as soon as possible. Finally, they will have to approach BTRC to receive allocations of wavelengths, he said.
Meanwhile, a minister, a former state minister, an adviser to the prime minister and lawmakers were among the owners and promoters of most of the new satellite TV channels.
According to information ministry sources, ruling party lawmaker from Narayanganj, Gazi Golam Dastagir, who is also the owner of Gazi TV, got permission for Green TV, as the chairman of Green Multimedia Ltdfollowing Environment and Forests Minister, Hasan Mahmud’s recommendation.
Titas TV of Millennium Media Ltd would be given licence against the application of Nur Mohammad as its managing director, following the recommendation of AB Tajul Islam, former state minister for liberation war affairs ministry.
Meanwhile, singer Mumtaj Begum, a lawmaker from reserved seats for women, is behind the screens of Millennium TV.Director General of PIB Shah Alamgir was the chief executive officer of the New Vision TV of News and Image. Sukumar Ranjan, a ruling party lawmaker from Munshiganj recommended for the channel.
Shahriar Alam, another ruling party lawmaker from Rajshahi, who was given permission of an FM Radio earlier, got the permission of Renaissance TV as the chairman of Barendra Media Ltd.
AL lawmaker from Dinajpur, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury got the licence of Rangdhanu TV under Rangdhanu Media while Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, information adviser to the prime minister would act as the managing director of Dhaka Bangla Television under Dhaka Bangla Media and Communication Ltd.
News 24, a channel of East-West Media Group has been permitted licence with Bashundhara Group’s Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan’s son, Sayem Sobhan as its managing director.
Film Producer Abbas Ullah Shikdar of Dhaka Chairmanbari got the permission of operating ATV.
Chairman of BSB Foundation MK Bashar got the licence for opening Cambrian TV Channel; former President of FBBCI Anisul Haque got Jadu TV under Jadu Media Limited.
Media Bangladesh Limited’s Chairman Tarun Dey got Amar Gan TVand some acquaintances of the information minister got the Channel 21 under Broadcast Bangladesh Limited.
The Awami League government had previously approved 18 TV channels.
Of those, on October 20, the government approved Channel Bayanno and on November 6, Bangla TV. Jamuna TV got its licence back on Jul 29 this year.
In October 2009, the government gave the permission to Ekattor TV, Mohona Television, Channel 9, Somoy TV, GTV, Independent Television,
Maasranga Television, ATN News, My TV and Bijoy TV while Channel 24, SA TV, Asian TV, Dipto Bangla Television and Gan Bangla were awarded licences in 2010.
Meanwhile, owners of new FM radio stations that were allowed to set up belonged to business groups including, Pran-RFL, Square and East-West Property Development (Bashundhara) group.
The FM Radios were Radio Dhol of ruling party lawmaker Shahriar Alam, Radio Capital of Sayem Sobhan of East West Media Group (Basundhara), Radio Dinrat of Anjan Chowdhury of Square Group, Radio Active of actress Shomi Kaiser, Desh Radio of actor Nader Chowdhury, Radio Masala of Shila Islam, Radio Next of Mosabbir Ahmad, Bangla Radio of AKM Sahid Reza, Jago FM of Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Radio Dhoni of Rashedul Hossain Chowdhury, Radio CIUS of Syed Jahirul Islam, Radio City of Kazi Mahfuzur Rahman, Radio Age of Shafqat Samiur Rahman and Times Radio of Abdullah Al Mamun.
Sources said most of the community radios were given permission to set up under different NGOs, mainly in coastal and rural areas. Of those, some of the districts have got more than one community radios for creating public awareness.
The Information ministry officials said at this moment around 200 applications for TV channel licences were pending with the ministry.