[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.


Licensing Criteria

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.

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