2 Patanjali TV channels stir controversy in Nepal

Two television channels owned by yoga guru Ramdev in Nepal has stirred controversy after they were being operated without registration.
Baba Ramdev. File photo
Baba Ramdev. File photo


During a function on Friday, Sher Bahadur Deuba launched the two channels -- Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV -- in the presence of Ramdev, Acharaya Balkrishna and other top leaders of major political parties.  
"Foreign investment in the media sector is prohibited as per the Nepali law. We have not received any application to register these two television channels," Gogon Bahadur Hamal, Director General, Department of Information and Broadcasting, said.
"We have formed an investigation team to study the registration of the television channels. If they have started broadcasting without prior approval, we will take action." 
It is said that multi-national company Patanjali has invested in the two channels where Ramdev and Acharaya Balkrishna are the main promoters. 
As per the Nepali law, foreign investment is not allowed in media and film sectors.
But if any foreign television channel needs to operate from Nepal, one should have fulfilled all required legal and other procedures. 
During the function, Prime Minister Deuba had assured that he will provide land for Patanjali for medical purpose.
The two channels were part of Patanjali group's latest venture. Founded by Acharya Balakrishna in 2006, Patanjali went on from starting as an Ayurveda medicine manufacturing company to other fields including clothing (Patanjali Paridhan), dairy (Patanjali Daary), food items and more. 
This is not the first time that a Patanjali product was landed in controversy in Nepal. 
Earlier in June, the Himalayan nation had banned the Coronil kit. 
The Ministry of Health and Population and Department of Health, Nepal had put a ban until the coronil kit was registered with the department according to the rules of the Government of Nepal. 

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