GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC - The Guyana government's monopoly of radio broadcasting is to end next year, President Bharrat Jagdeo has said.
Jagdeo told CMC in an interview on Friday that the long-awaited broadcast legislation would go before parliament by the middle of 2005 and, following its passage, "private individuals will be allowed to operate in the sector."
However, he warned that there would be some degree of control to prevent a proliferation of radio stations by unlicensed owners, as has occurred with television.
"We don't want what happened in the television industry to happen on radio, people squatting on the airwaves," Jagdeo said.
There are about 15 television stations operating in the city alone and government has taken steps to regulate the TV sector.
A committee comprising senior officials from both the ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) and the opposition People's National Congress /Reform (PNC/R) has prepared a detailed document to guide the drafting of a new broadcasting system here.
It visualises a three-tiered system comprising state owned public broadcasters, privately owned commercial operations and community broadcasting services.
It proposes that an autonomous and independent National Broadcasting Authority (NBA) manage the new system. However, the drafters of the new legislation have placed much control in the hands of government.