Government gives no signs of easing up on DTH terms

NEW DELHI: Broadcasters like Star that were hoping that the government may relax various investment and revenue sharing clauses in the policy guidelines announced on direct-to-home (DTH) may well have to manage within the existing policy.

"There is no proposal under consideration to increase FDI investment limit or to liberalise any other condition (in the DTH policy guidelines)," information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj recently informed the Indian parliament's Upper House before it was adjourned sine die two days ahead of the scheduled recess.

To a question asked by Prithviraj Chavan and Mabel Rebello, Upper House parliamentarians, on whether the government has failed to attract any FDI in DTH due to various caps imposed by he government and whether a relaxation in the conditions are in the offing, Swaraj said: "The government has received two applications for starting DTH broadcasting services."

Though the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Star's affiliate Space TV and Zee TV supremo Subhash Chandra's satellite company Agrani have submitted applications seeking licence for DTH service, broadcasters have been lobbying for relaxation in various investment caps.

The guidelines announced by the government late 2000 include a 20 per cent cap on investment in a DTH venture by a media company and 10 per cent annual revenue sharing.

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