Cabinet tunes in to radio FM

NEW DELHI: In what might be I&B minister Jaipal Reddys swan song--- political buzz, says he, may be shunted back to the Congress Party in a ministerial reshuffle --- his ministry is attempting to push through a slew of policy related papers for his colleagues okay.

A cabinet note on FM radio broadcast policy has already been sent to the Union Cabinet.

According to a senior official of the information and broadcasting ministry, the note on FM radio broadcast policy for Cabinets consideration has been sent few days back to the Cabinet Secretariat for listing on the agenda

The official added that the ministry is poised to complete formalities for a similar note on the amendments it would like to be introduced in the existing uplink guidelines.

However, the official refused to spell out the details.

Still, information collated from various sources indicate that the existing uplink policy is likely to see some major amendments, which include allowing TV channels and teleports to uplink to KU-band transponders.

Presently, the guidelines state that a channel/teleport allowed to uplink from India shall not carry out the uplinking in any other band except C-band.

A hike in the licencing fee too has been proposed to Rs 500,000 (approximately $ 12,000), which, as per global standards, is still considered to be on the lower side.

In what could be construed an attempt on the part of the government to discourage non-serious players from crowding the ministries for uplink-related clearances, it has been mooted by the I&B ministry that a permission once given would be valid for just 12 months.

The government would cancel the uplink permission of a company that does not operationalises its services within one year from getting the uplink nod.

Doordarshans interest too has been safeguarded under the revised uplink norms and the pubcaster would have access to terrestrial feed of all sporting events being played in India, irrespective of the fact who owns the telecast rights.

As far as the FM radio broadcast policy is concerned, the I&B ministry has supported a revenue share model of between 4-5 per cent, while suggesting a complex migration formula for the existing private sector FM radio players and allowing some foreign investment in radio ventures.


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