“The Ministry will form a Review Committee soon which will check the constraints, challenges and way forward of current Community Radio stations of the country and take up some measures to facilitate them for smooth running.” This was told by Mr.Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, ndc, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information & Chairperson, Community Radio Related National Regulatory Committee while speaking in an opinion sharing meeting with representatives from 14 community radio stations of the country on February 10, 2013 at PIB Auditorium in Dhaka.
The Meeting was organized by Ministry of Information, of Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh with support from Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) & Free Press Unlimited.
Mr. Md.Monzur Rahman, Joint Secretary (Broadcast) & Member Secretary, Community Radio Related National Regulatory Committee welcomed the participants. The Chief Executive Officer of BNNRC Mr.AHM Bazlur Rahman presented the challenges and way forward of Community Radio stations in Bangladesh. He mentioned that although community radio has achieved a lot, yet it has to address some challenges.
Now 14 Community Radio Stations are on-air in the country, aiming to ensure empowerment and right to information for the rural community. They are broadcasting altogether 120 hours program per day on information, education, local entertainment and development motivation activities. Around 536 Youth Women & Youth are now working with those Stations throughout the country as rural broadcasters. Now the number of community radio listeners stands around 5 millions.
In response to those points Mr.Dulal C.Biswas, Director General of Bangladesh Press Institute (PIB) proposed for a comprehensive research on the achievements and insights of community radio sector of the country, in which PIB can take the leading role. Mr.Kazi Akhtaruddin Ahmed, Director General, Bangladesh Betar and Chairperson of Community Radio Related Central Monitoring Committee appreciated BNNRC and thanked the participants.
The findings of this consultation, particularly the challenges identified, will be considered with seriousness to review in technical committee. This committee will suggest recommendations so that we will be able to put up those to the Ministry. Each of the CR representatives shared some of their opinion and concerns briefly-those have already been reported in earlier presentation of BNNRC.
In concluding remarks Mr.Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, ndc, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information & Chairperson, and Community Radio Related National Regulatory Committee summarized the concerns of all and assured them to provide all sorts of cooperation to the community radio initiators.
The meeting was moderated by Ms. Reba Rani Shaha, Joint Secretary(Radio), Ministry of Information.