04/29/2020 / 17:05
SARAJEVO – A decision should be found before the BiH Council of Ministers shortly to help part of the electronic media with more than 640,000 KM in order to mitigate the negative impact of the corona virus epidemic. The BH Journalists' Association supports the initiative, but believes that the assistance should be much larger and that it cannot be selective, as apart from electronic and other media have suffered damage, especially the press.
The Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) of BiH has drafted a Decision on the use of part of the accumulated surplus revenue over CRA expenditures.
“In view of the state of emergency declared in BiH due to the pandemic of the coronary virus, as well as the fact that the work and position of the CRA license holders, especially the broadcasters via terrestrial broadcasting, is significantly hampered, the CRA proposes to make the decision in question. would mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic on the business and survival of a portion of licensees in the broadcasting field and prevent any possible layoffs in this area. ”, they stated in the CRA.
The decision authorizes the use of undistributed accumulated surplus income of RAK in the amount of KM 643,520 in order to settle the obligations of radio and television stations on the basis of the fee for use of the radio frequency spectrum for 2020.
The CRA as the reason for proposing the said Decision states that the position and operation of the real sector is significantly hampered and that the media revenue from marketing is significantly reduced.
“In order to mitigate, at least in part, the negative impact of the Corona virus epidemic on the business and survival of a portion of broadcasting licensees who have demonstrated and proved their vital role in this crisis through realistic and timely reporting, and help to prevent possible dismissal of workers in this field, it is proposed that from the part of the undistributed accumulated surplus of income over the expenditures of RAK determined at the end of 2018, the obligations of users of radio broadcasting licenses via terrestrial broadcasting towards the Budget of the Institutions of BiH shall be settled, based on the fee for use of the radio frequency spectrum for 2020 ”, was emphasized in the reasoning of the Decision.
Former RTRS director Drasko Milinovic has been nominated as director of the CRA, Transport and Communications Minister Vojin Mitrovic confirmed five days ago. Presently, RAK is headed by Predrag Kovac.
Otherwise, undistributed accumulated surplus of income over RAK expenditures at the end of 2018 amounted to KM 3,632,372.
Consultations on the aforementioned Decision are ongoing until May 7, after which it should be before the Council of Ministers of BiH.
It should be reminded that, midway through this month, the CRA Council ordered the CRA to initiate the procedure for passing the aforementioned Decision of the Council of Ministers of BiH.
Cancer is then amended the Decision on the amount of the rate and the value of points for calculating the annual license fee, which will reduce the costs of licensees in broadcasting by the amount of about 185,000 KM. The deadline for payment of the calculated annual fee has been extended until September 30 this year.
Secretary General of the Association of BH Journalists Borka Rudic told CAPITAL that there should be a single fund to help all the media.
“There is no need to separate electronic media from print and online portals and put them at a disadvantage. All types of assistance and efforts made by the CRA are commendable and the Council of Ministers should respect their initiative and extend this to the creation of an independent media assistance fund that will not disadvantage any media. “, pointed out Rudic.
She added that on March 18, the BH Journalists Association sent a letter to the Council of Ministers requesting financial support for the media.
“Governments in BiH have taken measures to help businesses with no media, and we have repeatedly asked the authorities to help the media. Unfortunately, no one responded. We are now in the process of preparing a survey to assess the damage in the media and will then make an official request to form a fund. There is money, a decision was made last year to support the media and the telecommunications sector, and as far as we know more than six million marks have not been spent and they could divert it now to support the media. ”, pointed out Rudic.
She assessed the support for electronic media as important, adding that it should be taken into account that the greatest damage had been suffered by the press and that it would be unfair for only one part of the media to receive assistance.
CAPITAL: Svetlana Šurlan