ISLAMABAD: PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam has said owners of major news channels were more interested in making money than providing their viewers with accurate and reliable information. Because of this, broadcasting standards have nosedived. During a chat with media men here in a local hotel on Friday, Absar Aslam said owners of the channels did not attach any importance to PEMRA in the past and they used to settle the matters with government directly. “I will not allow them to do so now,” he remarked. “What is done now will be done in tune with PEMRA laws. I have such powers that if I choose to exercise them, then the process of registration of cases against the owners of the channels may start and they can be arrested. But I don’t wish to do so,” he added with grandiose magnanimity. “I will take action against all those dual nationality holding anchor persons who abuse the constitution of Pakistan while holding US and UK nationality. PEMRA is not barring anyone from criticising the government but I will not allow anyone to sling mud at Pakistan constitution at the behest of some other country or agency or institution. “We are evolving a stringent policy with reference to Indian dramas too. This will soon be implemented,” he said.He said that “media owners earn billions of rupees but don’t pay salaries to their employees. On the other hand, the institutions which are paying salaries have such low salaries that employees cannot meet their genuine needs.” He stated that PEMRA can impose penalties to the tune of Rs 1 million on any channel or anchor for violating the rules. This should be scaled up to Rs 500 million.” Responding to a question he said that DTS is being launched to bring an end to the highhandedness of cable operators. It will start functioning in major cities all over the country soon. The complaints of the people will be allayed due to this system. He said that PEMRA has no role in shutting Bol TV down. In fact, the interior ministry withdrew its security clearance. Therefore, we had to take action. If owners of Bol TV channel get security clearance, then we will allow them to start their transmission. He said that anchors were too conceited and arrogant and real change could not come unless action was taken against the powerful class, he stressed.