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Govt turns down radio, TV license fee proposal

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By Team Posted on : 10 Apr 2003 03:00 pm

NEW DELHI: Finally the radio and TV licence fee issue has been laid to rest.

There is no proposal to re-impose licence fee on television and radio sets, minister of information and broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad told fellow parliamentarian D N R Wadiyar in Lok Sabha (India's Lower House of Parliament) today.

To another question by Bhupendrasinh Solanki, the minister said that Prasar Bharati has no proposal to set up a channel related to spiritual programmes. As had been reported earlier by, though Prasar Bharati Corporation had petitioned the government to re-introduce the licence fee regime, in a bid to augment the Corporation's revenue, the logistics did not favour such a move.

Moreover, the electronics goods manufacturers of the country were opposed to such a move as a licence fee levied at the point of sale of TV and radio sets would have given rise to excise problems as also raising the total cost of a TV or a radio set.

In a process that was stopped a few decades ago, the Indian government used to collect license fee for every radio set in the country through a mechanism wherein owners of radio sets deposited a designated amount in the nearest post office.

The whole process was closed down as it dawned on the policy makers that the cost of collection of the licence fee was much more than the revenue being generated through the fee, apart from other problems.

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