PAKISTAN ELECTRONIC MEDIA REGULATORY AUTHORITY (RADIO BROADCAST STATION OPERATIONS) REGULATIONS, 2012
[Gazette of Pakistan, Extraordinary, Part-II, 10th April, 2012]
S.R.O. 361(I)/2012, dated 31.1.2012.—In exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (3) of Section 4 read with all other enabling provisions of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (XIII of 2002) the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority is pleased to make the following Regulations namely:—
1. Short title and commencement.—(1) These regulations shall be called Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Radio Broadcast Station Operations) Regulations, 2012.
(2) They shall come into force at once.
2. Definitions.—(1) Terms and expressions used in these regulations shall have, unless it appears repugnant to the context or provided otherwise, following meanings:
a. "radio advertisement" means a set of audio messages for the projection of a product, service, or idea with the object of propagating sale, purchase or hire of the product, service or idea for creating other related effects.
b. "annual gross advertisement revenue" means the total revenue receipts from advertisements calculated before realizing the liabilities and expenses etc.
c. "amplitude modulation (AM)" means a mode of broadcasting radio waves by varying amplitude of the carrier signal in response to the amplitude of the signal to be transmitted.
d. "AM radio" means the radio broadcast that uses amplitude modulation.
e. "application form" means the application form as specified by the Authority for the grant of a licence / permission as prescribed by the Authority from time to time.
f. "applicable licence fee" means the licence fee prescribed by the Authority from time to time or where applicable, determined through bidding, and to be paid for obtaining a licence.
g. "annual fee" means fees and charges both fixed and variable portion payable by the licensee for ensuing year's upto the expiry of the licence term.
h. "renewal fee" means fee payable for renewal of a licence on expiry of the term of the licence;
i. "Authority" means the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)
j. "authorized officer" means the Chairman or a member, or any member of staff, expert, consultant, adviser, other officer or employee of the Authority to whom the Authority has by general or special order delegated its powers, responsibilities or functions under the Ordinance for carrying out the purposes of the Ordinance, rules or regulations made there under.
k. "base price" means the minimum fee determined by the Authority from time to time for the purpose of conducting bidding for a particular category of the licence.
l. "broadcast media" means such media which originate and propagate broadcast and prerecorded signals by terrestrial means or through satellite for radio or television and includes teleporting, provision of access to broadcast signals by channel providers and such other forms of broadcast media as the Authority may, with the approval of the Federal Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.
m. "broadcaster" means a person engaged in broadcast media except broadcast journalists not actively involved in the operation, ownership, management or control of the broadcast media.
n. "broadcast station" means physical, technical and software infrastructure for the operation of radio or television and also includes satellite up-linking from ground, repeaters and all such other accessories.
o. "Chairman" means the Chairman of the Authority.
p. "Chairperson" means the head of a Council of Complaint.
q. "channel" means the set of frequencies that a broadcast station occupies for broadcasting.
r. "Code" means the code of conduct for media broadcasters and distribution service operators specified in the rules.
s. "company" means a company as defined in the Companies Ordinance, 1984 (XLVII of 1984)
t. "copyright" means copyright as defined in the Copyright Ordinance, 1962 (XXXIV of 1962)
u. "Council" means Council of Complaints established under Section 26 of the Ordinance.
v. "digital audio broadcasting (DAB)" means digital radio broadcasting system that through the application of multiplexing and compression combines multiple audio streams onto a relatively narrow band centered on a single broadcast frequency.
w. "foreign Broadcasting Service" means a broadcasting service which is up linked from outside Pakistan and downlink / received in Pakistan.
x. "foreign company" means a company or body corporate organized, and registered under the laws of a foreign government.
y. "foreign content" means the content that is produced under the (direct or indirect) creative control of foreigners, foreign company or foreign broadcaster.
z. "frequency" means the frequency of the electromagnetic wave number measured in Hertz and used for transmission.
aa. "FAB" means the Frequency Allocation Board established under Section 42 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 (XVII of 1996)
bb. "frequency modulation" means a mode of broadcasting radio waves by varying frequency of the carrier signal in response to the amplitude of the signal to be transmitted.
cc. "FM radio" means broadcast that uses frequency modulation.
dd. "illegal operation" means the broadcast or transmission or distribution of, or provision of access to, programmes or advertisements in the form of channels without having a valid licence / permission from the Authority.
ee. "Internet radio" means provision of radio service through audio streaming over the uniform resource locator.
ff. "licence" means a licence issued by the Authority to establish and operate a broadcast media or distribution service.
gg. "licensee" means a person to whom the Authority has issued a licence.
hh. "media enterprise" means an enterprise concerned with the publication of a printed newspaper or a broadcast media or distribution service.
ii. "Member" means a member of the Authority.
jj. "national broadcaster" means the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, the Pakistan Television Corporation and the Shalimar Recording and Broadcasting Company.
kk. "non-commercial licence" means a licence under which the licensee is not allowed to air any advertisements or otherwise sell its air time;
ll. "Ordinance" means the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (XIII of 2002)
mm. "person" includes an individual, partnership, association, company, trust or corporation.
nn. "prescribed" means prescribed by the rules and regulations made under the ordinance.
oo. "PTA" means the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority established under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 (XVII of 1996)
pp. "radio programme" means any systematic broadcasting of visual or sound images by a broadcast station but does not include an advertisement.
qq. "renewal of licence" means grant / revalidation of a licence for a similar or an other term after expiry of the original term.
rr. "Regulations" means the regulations made under the Ordinance and the rules;
ss. "Rules" means the rules made under the Ordinance.
tt. "satellite radio" means digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and can be received in a wider geographical area.
uu. "schedule" means the Schedule annexed to these regulations.
vv. "subscriber's equipment" means radio receiver equipment used for receiving the radio service signals.
(2) Words and phrases used but not defined in these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Ordinance and the rules made there under.
3. Licence to operate.—(1) No person shall engage in radio broadcasting without obtaining a licence from the Authority.
(2) Every licence shall be subject to such terms and conditions as provided in the Ordinance, the rules and these regulations or otherwise specified by the Authority.
4. Application for grant of a licence.—(1) The Authority may invite, by advertising through media, the expression of interest (EOI) or applications from the general public, interested in establishing and operating radio broadcasting stations in any particular category or area of coverage in Pakistan, for award of licences through bidding under Section 19 of the Ordinance.
(2) The application for grant of a licence to establish and operate a radio broadcast station shall be made on the application form specified by the Authority for such purpose from time to time.
(3) The applicant shall indicate the desired category of licence, in terms of the area of coverage from amongst the given categories and shall also provide the details of equipment intended to be used.
(4) Each application for grant of a radio broadcast station licence shall be accompanied by such application processing fee (non-refundable) as determined by the Authority from time to time.
(5) The Authority may, where applicable, forward the application to the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) through Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for frequency allocation.
(6) The application may be processed simultaneously, however, the licence shall be issued only after security clearance from the Ministry of Interior, allocation of the frequency by FAB where applicable and on completion of other legal requirements.
(7) Base price for the licence shall be determined by the Authority.
5. Criteria for evaluating licence application:—(1) Applications for the grant of a radio broadcast station licence shall in the first instance be evaluated and short listed as per prescribed criteria.
(2) The applicant who is, directly or indirectly, holding a licence issued by the Authority shall not be issued any further licence unless all outstanding dues in respect of all the licences held by such applicant, directly or indirectly, have been paid and a satisfactory report has been obtained regarding compliance with the relevant laws of the Authority:
Provided that a maximum number of radio licences that may be issued to a person or any of its directors or partners where such person is a company or firm, directly or indirectly, shall not exceed a total of four radio licences.
(3) A person shall not be granted more than, one radio licence in the same area of operation and where two or more companies or firms having one or more common directors/shareholders or partners, as the case may be, have applied for grant of licence in the same area, only one of such companies shall be allowed to participate in the bidding:
Provided that if the companies or firms, as the case may be, are not able to decide as to which firm or company shall be participating in the bidding, all such companies or firms shall be declared ineligible for participation in the bid.
(4) The applicant shall certify that it is not a defaulter of the Authority, any financial institution, Federal Board of Revenue or any other organization/entity owned or operated by the government.
(5) The applicant shall be registered with the relevant tax authorities for, inter alia, sales tax and income tax.
(6) A licensee who owns, controls, operates or manages directly or indirectly broadcast media or landing rights permission shall not be granted distribution service licence and vice versa.
(7) Non-commercial licences for educational and specialized subjects may be issued by the Authority on case to case basis in accordance with the prescribed criteria to following organizations:
(a) Educational institutions recognized by the Higher Education Commission; and
(b) governmental organizations working for sector/industrial development:
Provided that in the case of grant of non-commercial radio licences, public sector institutions and governmental organizations shall be exempt from the requirements of security clearance, provincial consultation and public hearing.
6. Issuance and refusal of licence:—(1) The Authority shall process each application and on being satisfied that the applicant(s) fulfils the eligibility criteria and requirements of the Ordinance, rules & regulations may, on receipt of the applicable licence fee and prescribed security deposit, issue licence to the applicant(s);
Provided that security deposit shall be refundable after one year of satisfactory performance by the licensee and may be forfeited where the licensee has failed either to commence its operation within given time or show satisfactory performance for one year:
Provided further that if at any time it is found that the licensee had provided false or misleading information/certificate/documents for issuance of the licence, the licence shall be withdrawn.
(2) The Authority, if satisfied that the applicant is not eligible for grant of licence or the issuance of licence to a particular person is not in the public interest, may refuse grant of licence to such person by recording reasons in writing.
(3) Any change in the particulars of the applicant provided in the application shall be notified to the Authority without any delay.
(4) The Authority shall take decision on the application for a licence within one hundred days from receipt of the application subject to fulfillment of all the legal requirements, security clearance from the Ministry of Interior, and frequency allocation by FAB in relevant cases:
Provided that if more time is consumed in the processing of the application, the same shall not be construed as an expectancy to get a licence merely by reason that the application was not decided within 100 days.
7. Fees and security deposits:—(1) The licence fee, annual fee, other charges and licence renewal fees payable pursuant to these regulations shall be as determined by the Authority from time to time.
(2) A surcharge at the rate of five percent per month, upto a maximum of fifteen percent, for late payment of annual fee or licence renewal fee, as the case may be, shall be payable:
Provided that without prejudice to the power of the Authority to revoke a licence, if a licensee fails to pay the outstanding dues including surcharge after expiry of three months from the due date, the licence shall be suspended and equipment shall be seized. However, the licence may be reinstated and equipment may be returned on payment of outstanding dues and such fine as the Authority may impose:
Provided further that if the licensee shows sufficient and reasonable cause, the Chairman may relax the due date by a maximum of seven days in exceptional cases for the reasons to be recroded in writing.
(3) The annual fee payable pursuant to the Ordinance, rules & regulations shall include such percentage of the gross advertisement revenue as determined by the Authority from time to time.
Licence Terms & Renewal
8. Licence terms & conditions:—(1) The licensee shall not be allowed to shift or transfer its station from the area for which it has been licensed.
(2) A licensee shall maintain a record and register of the programs and advertisements aired by it for a period not less than ninety days.
(3) A licensee shall not change its management, shareholding or transfer control otherwise to any person not being the shareholder at the time of grant of licence without obtaining prior permission from the Authority after fulfillment of prescribed criteria, payment of applicable fee and security clearance:
(4) A licence shall be withdrawn, if the licensee fails to put into operation the broadcast station within a period of one year or as specified in its licence.
(5) A licensee shall not change the location of its broadcast station, business address, data center, transmitter location, complaint center etc. as the case may be, without prior written permission of the Authority.
(6) A licensee shall not air programs or news bulletins of any foreign company or broadcaster or sister concern of such foreign company or broadcaster, or provide its air time to any other person without prior approval of the Authority.
(7) A licensee shall comply with the local laws of Pakistan and shall not enter into any foreign or local agreement that is in violation of the Ordinance and the rules and regulations made thereunder.
9. Renewal of licence on expiry of the licence term:—(1) A licensee desirous of getting its licence renewed may, at least six months prior to the expiry of the licence, apply to the Authority for renewal of its licence and the Authority may renew the licence for such terms as deemed appropriate subject to:
a. fulfillment of eligibility criteria and other conditions as provided in the Ordinance, rules, regulations or otherwise prevalent at the time of renewal of the licence;
b. satisfactory past performance;
c. security clearance of the applicant by the Ministry of Interior:
Provided that if decision of Ministry of Interior regarding security clearance of the applicant is not received within a period of six months or before expiry of the licence, whichever is earlier, subject to fulfillment of other conditions, the licence may be renewed conditionally subject to security clearance by the Ministry of Interior and if the security clearance is refused the licence shall be withdrawn immediately without incurring any liability on part of the Authority.
d. proof of registration with tax authorities for income tax and sales tax;
e. the applicant must not be a defaulter of any financial institution, Federal Board of Revenue or any organization/entity owned or operated by the Government of Pakistan;
f. payment of renewal fee as applicable at the time of renewal; and
g. payment of outstanding dues in respect of all licences that are held by the applicant, directly or indirectly.
(2) Licence renewal fee shall be prevailing applicable licence fee for the respective area and category of licence plus rate of inflation calculated as prescribed by the State Bank of Pakistan:
Provided that if bidding has not been held for such licence, the renewal fee shall be determined by the Authority.
(3) The Authority may decide not to renew a licence beyond the expiry date of the on-going term after recording reasons in writing.
10. Sharing of Facilities:—The licensees shall be liable to comply with the guidelines issued by the Authority for sharing of facilities by the licensees.
11. Maintenance of accounts.—(1) The licensee shall maintain proper accounts, as required by the applicable laws and the rules & regulations made under the Ordinance, and shall cause to be carried out the audit of his accounts by one or more auditors who are chartered accountants within the meaning of Charted Accountants Ordinance, 1961 (X of 1961) and shall submit the audited financial statement to the Authority not later than three months after the closing date of its financial year.
(2) If the Licensee is operating multiple businesses, it shall separately disclose gross advertisement revenue accruing from each business or in case the licensee has been issued more than one licences, the licensee shall specify gross advertisement revenue for each licensed service separately in its financial statement.
(3) If deemed necessary, the Authority may itself conduct or cause to be conducted through Chartered Accountants, audit of a licensee and the licensee shall provide access to relevant record, information, data and assistance in this regard.
12. Media ownership concentration and exclusion of monopolies.—(1) To ensure that fair competition is facilitated, media diversity and plurality are promoted in the society and undue concentration of media ownership is not created, maximum number of licences that may be issued to a person or any of its directors or partners where such person is a company or firm, who is directly or indirectly, controlling, owning or operating more than one media enterprise, shall not exceed a total of four satellite TV, four Radio licences and two landing rights permissions.
(2) A licensee having direct or indirect interest in any other media enterprise shall ensure—
(a) appointment of separate editorial boards and monitoring facilities for each medium under its control;
(b) establishment of separate management structures for each medium under its control; and
(c) maintenance of separate accounting record for each medium under its control.
(3) A licensee who owns, controls or operates directly or indirectly broadcast media licence or landing rights permission shall not be granted a distribution service licence and vice versa.
13. Provision for live broadcasting of certain events.—For the purpose of ensuring the widest availability of listening in Pakistan of a national or international event of general public interest, the Authority, may notify the same.
14. Copyright:—(1) The licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that copyright obligations as required under the copyrights Ordinance, 1962, with respect to the programmes being relayed over the system are fulfilled.
(2) No suit, prosecution, or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Federal Government or any Provincial Government, the Authority or Local Authority or the Authorized Officer or any other person exercising any power or performing any function under the PEMRA Ordinance rules and regulation made there under or for any violation of copyrights or other intellectual property rights by any licensee.
15. Monitoring:—(1) Without prejudice to any provision of the Ordinance, the rules and regulations made there under, the licensed system may be monitored by the Authority with respect to quality of transmitted signal, content of the broadcast, compliance with installation standards and complaints of consumers etc. and the licensee shall provide all necessary assistance and equipment for this purpose.
(2) In case installation of improper or sub-standard equipment is detected, the licensee shall rectify the same immediately but not later than one week of detecting or being informed of the problem and also inform the listeners about the problem and its rectification.
(3) The Councils of Complaints as established under the Ordinance, or the authorized officers of the Authority, may monitor the broadcast operations with a view to ensuring ethical standards, programming contents, Code of Conduct and technical and quality standards of the broadcast operations.
(4) The licensee shall facilitate the authorized representatives of the Authority, or as the case may be, the Council, to visit his premises at any time for the purpose of inspection.
Inspection and Operations
16. Inspection and Operations.—(1) An authorized officer or his nominee may physically inspect a radio broadcast station at any time and if any violation of the Ordinance, rules, regulations or licence terms and conditions is found, shall direct the operator to rectify the same within such time as may be reasonable for this purpose and may also seize the equipment being used in such violation.
(2) Where a licensee has been found involved in violation of the relevant laws, the regional general manager may, after the licensee has been provided opportunity to show cause, impose a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees:
Provided that where the officer is of the view that the violation is of severe nature, he may forward the case to the Council of Complaints or the Chairman through proper channel, along with appropriate recommendation.
(3) A licensee shall be served a prior show cause notice for violation before seizure of equipment and equipment so seized may be returned after deposit of such fine as may be imposed:
Provided that the equipment seized for being used for illegal operation or without having a valid licence shall be confiscated.
(4) The authorized officer shall have the following powers–
i. to exercise the powers regarding inspection, search and seizure conferred under Section 29 of the Ordinance;
ii. to request the officers of Federal Government, Provincial Governments and Local Governments including the Capital Territory Police and the Provincial Police for their assistance in discharge of its functions under the provisions of the Ordinance and the rules and regulations made thereunder;
iii. to sign plaint, reply in Court cases, criminal complaint under Section 34 of the Ordinance for any violation of provisions of the Ordinance; and
iv. to apply for issuance of warrants under Section 33B of the Ordinance.
(5) Any person aggrieved by any decision of an authorized officer, may appeal to the Authority within 30 days of receipt of such decision.
17. Events initiating investigations by the Authority:—(1) The Authority or authorized officer, as the case may be, may commence an investigation concerning the licensee's performance or compliance with the relevant laws and code of conduct when inter alia, any of the following events occur–
i. failure to comply with the service provision, regulatory and technical standards requirements;
ii. failure to comply with any of the performance obligation set forth in the licence;
iii. unauthorized change of management, shareholding, directorship or CEO of the licensee;
iv. partial or total suspension of the service for a continuous period of 48 hours in the service area;
v. failure of the licensee to comply with the quality / of Services requirements of the licence;
vi. repeated complaints by the general public about the inadequate quality standards of the service;
vii. use of unauthorized frequencies;
viii. provision of the telecommunication services which are not authorized by the licence or without obtaining a licence from relevant bodies e.g. PTA etc.
ix. failure of the licensee to provide information to the Authority as and when required by the Authority;
x. failure of the licensee to maintain proper accounting systems and separate records of account for each of its licensed service;
xi. any violation of the laws of Pakistan as they exist or come into force from time to time;
xii. violation of the terms and conditions of the licence by the licensee.
(2) During the course of the investigation, the licensee and its staff shall fully cooperate with the Investigating Officer or team and provide all information that is required by the authorized officer in this regard.
Standards of Programmes
18. General standards for programmes:—(1) Without prejudice to anything contained in Schedule-A of the PEMRA Rules, 2009 or any other regulations for the time being in force, the licensee shall comply with the following also:
a. the licensee shall ensure to provide a proportion of programmes of indigenous origin as per approved program mix not being less than 90% of the total programming;
b. The licensee shall broadcast programmes in the public interest specified by the Federal Government or the Authority in the manner indicated by the Government or, as the case may be, the Authority:
Provided that the duration of such mandatory programmes shall not exceed ten per cent of the total duration of broadcast or operation by a station in twenty-four hours except if, by its own volition, a station chooses to broadcast such content for a longer duration;
c. The licensee shall ensure that nothing is contained in any programme, or an advertisement, which is prejudicial to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan, Ideology of Pakistan, security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order or which may constitute contempt of Court, defamation or incitement to an offence or brings into disrepute the State institutions including armed forces;
d. The licensee shall ensure emphasis on promotion of national dignity and character, values of national integration, religious, sectarian and communal harmony and a visible deference to the social, cultural, moral and traditional values of the Pakistani society, in relaying the programmes;
e. The licensee shall show sensitivity and respect to all ethnic groups and minorities;
f. The licensee shall not broadcast, transmit, retransmit or relay any indecent, vulgar, pornographic or obscene content;
g. The licensee, while airing any content relating to a crime, shall not reveal the identity of victim or relatives of victims without prior written permission of the victim or where the victim is a minor, the guardian of the victim;
h. The licensee shall comply with the guidelines and directives issued by the Authority from time to time and also appoint an in-house monitoring committee, under intimation to the Authority, to ensure compliance with the Ordinance, rules and regulations made thereunder.
i. The programmes and advertisements shall conform to the provisions of the laws of the country.
j. During a regular programme a continuous break for advertising shall not exceed three minutes and duration between two such successive breaks shall not be less than fifteen minutes:
Provided that during the transmission of any given one hour, the total duration of advertisements shall not exceed a maximum of twelve minutes.
k. The licensee shall abide by the electoral code of conduct promulgated by the Election Commission of Pakistan and as devised by the Authority.
l. The licensee shall not air any health related advertisements unless prior no objection certificate has been obtained under the relevant laws;
m. Any material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of children, promote the use and abuse of drugs, smoking, violence, whether verbal or physical, that is easily imituble by children in a manner that is harmful or dangerous must not be included in programmes made primarily for children;
n. Privacy of any individual and the privacy of home shall not be violated;
o. Personal data of any individual shall not be disclosed unless prior written permission has been obtained from such individual;
p. While reporting any incident of sexual assault or rape, the identity of the victim and victim's family shall not be disclosed unless the victim has himself/herself consented in writing where victim is an adult and where victim is a minor his/her guardian has consented to disclose his/her identity in the electronic media;
q. not broadcast any programme or discussion to speculate or influence a matter which is sub-judice;
19. General conditions and quality standards applicable to the broadcasting equipment:—(1) The licensee shall ensure that the installed system meets the Technical Standards as provided or adopted by the Authority from time to time.
(2) The licensee shall obtain NOC from the Authority before importing any broadcast equipments.
20. Safety standards:—(1) The licensee shall ensure that the system does not cause interference with the transmission of any other broadcast station.
(2) The licensee shall obtain necessary permissions from the municipal authorities and the utility companies, in order to established station.
(3) The licensee shall abide by the specifications and criteria as laid down by the Civil Defense Authorities, Air Traffic Control System, the Armed Forces or other governmental departments/agencies while constructing, erecting and installing the transmission antennas for the broadcast stations.
(4) The licensee shall ensure such security arrangements as may be required to protect the broadcasting station against unauthorized access or control.
(5) In case of a national emergency or internal strife, the licensee shall immediately notify the situation to the Authority and comply with all such instructions as may be given by the authorized officer of the Authority or the Federal Government, including linking the transmitters with the national broadcaster.
(6) The licensee shall make appropriate arrangements to receive emergency related messages from the Authority or the Government.
22. Repeal and savings.—(1) The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (TV/Radio Broadcast Operations) Regulations, 2002, hereinafter referred to as the said regulations, are hereby repealed to the extent of Radio Broadcast operations.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-regulation (1):
(a) Any licence, permission or lease granted or renewed under the said regulations which are not inconsistent with provisions of the Ordinance, rules and these or any other regulations made there under shall be deemed to have been so granted or renewed under these regulations;
(b) Any fee, security deposit, fine and surcharge etc. charged under the said regulations shall be payable as such and any fee, security deposit, fine and surcharge payable under these regulations shall apply to such licence, permission or lease granted or renewed under the said regulations; and
(c) Any application made for the grant of a licence and pending consideration under the said regulations, shall be deemed to have been so made and pending consideration under these regulations.