Georgetown Chamber voices concern over granting of licence to China TV

Pressure continues to build on the Guyana Government over the granting of a broadcast licence to China Central TV with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) being the latest to voice concern on the matter,

Thus far, the private sector had been silent on the granting earlier this month of a 24-hour broadcasting licence to CCTV on dubious grounds.

The transmission building for the CCTV station in the compound of NCN (GINA photo)
The transmission building for the CCTV station in the compound of NCN (GINA photo)

In a statement today, the GCCI expressed “considerable concerns” over the process that led to the granting of a television licence and broadcast spectrum frequency to the Chinese Government. The Chamber said that the process utilised appears to have been conducted without the necessary regulatory requirements and principles that should be followed in the issuance of such a licence.

“While the Chamber acknowledges that China is a very important development partner, the government of Guyana should ensure that due process is followed and the laws of Guyana (are) observed when brokering agreements with domestic and foreign entities. Moreover, the government has to guarantee that equitable, fair and transparent procedures are applicable to all applying for statutory licenses. Our private sector companies are all expected to follow such statutory guidelines”, the Chamber asserted.

It argued that the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) has the responsibility of efficiently and effectively managing the electromagnetic frequency spectrum and receiving and processing applications for licenses for broadcast services.

It also noted that the recently formed Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) under the Broadcast Act of 2011 has responsibility for the granting of television licences.

The Chamber said that from the statements coming from the Government on the granting of the Chinese Broadcast Licence, “it appears that none of these agencies were involved in the processing of the approved license. This represents a worrying development and one that the Chamber admonishes if it is proved that the statutory procedures were not followed.”

The Chamber said it would welcome statements from both the NFMU and the GNBA on this issue.

Broadcast expert Kit Nascimento and veteran broadcaster Enrico Woolford have queried the grounds on which the licence has been granted. Nascimento has raised the question of how, what are propaganda broadcasts from a foreign country could serve Guyana’s interests and what mechanisms are in place for content regulation among other issues. Woolford has questioned how the finite electromagnetic spectrum could be accessed by a foreign government when many locals have applied for licences and have not been granted.

Though the Act creating the GNBA has been pilloried, critics have noted that even they had been bypassed in the delivering of a licence to CCTV. This bypassing has been underscored by Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr Roger Luncheon who asked rhetorically at a press conference on Thursday  “…But obviously if they’re instructed what do you think they would do? If you were the managing director of NFMU and the HPS called you and said we’ve just agreed with the People’s Republic of China to broadcast the signals and…, they have selected a channel to do so, could you please go ahead and assign a channel, you think he’s [the Head of NFMU] going to tell me [Luncheon] that you got to apply and all of those things? I doubt it.“

Nascimento later decried this as an admission by the government that it had broken the law in relation to the CCTV licence.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Stealth flight plane grounded in Anguilla

One of two planes that left Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness on Saturday has been given clearance to leave Anguilla and the other was grounded in the British overseas territory, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has said.

The remains of the home Satesh Jagmohan was occupying when tragedy struck

De Willem teen burns to death in house fire

A 19-year-old labourer perished in a mysterious fire which destroyed a two-bedroom house in the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) squatting area on Saturday night.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil set to drill more oil wells

American oil firm ExxonMobil will be drilling more wells after an appraisal well confirmed the presence of a significant deposit of oil in the location close to where the first well was drilled.

default placeholder

Implement anti-discrimination laws quickly – outgoing US Embassy Deputy

It is important that Guyana move quickly to enact anti-discrimination laws as discrimination and homophobia “is a very real problem” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community here, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has said.

Ishaan Caines

Coverden cop dies in Bamia accident

A police rank died on Saturday afternoon after he lost control of the car he was driving and it flipped over in the vicinity of the Bamia Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

A section of the gathering (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Protected zones to be set up in all 10 regions

President David Granger on Friday said that protected areas will be established in all 10 regions of the country. The Ministry of the Presidency said in a release on Saturday that he was speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana’s (THAG) President’s Awards Ceremony 2016.

default placeholder

GPL invites bids for 11 MW Anna Regina plant

The Guyana Power and Light is inviting bids for the construction of an 11 MW plant at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast and one for 5.5 MW at Canefield on the East Berbice.

default placeholder

Waste management soaking up BV/Triumph NDC funds

Waste management is taking up over 50% of the revenues of the Beterverwagting /Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and councillors who were elected at historic local government polls are now confronting problems which have led to frustration with one already contemplating resignation.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: