Govt. earns Rs 11.45 billion from FM channels: year-end review report

NEW DELHI: The government has earned revenue of Rs 11.45 billion from the successful bidding of 280 FM (frequency modulation) channels during the year through ?One Time Entry Fee? (OTEF) and migration fee, according to a year-end review of the information and broadcasting ministry. In all, 337 channels across 91 cities in the country were put on bidding.

Allotment of frequencies has already been made for all eligible 245 channels. A total of 44 private FM radio channels have already become operational while others are in the various stages of getting set up. With the completion of this phase, a total of 266 FM radio stations will be functional all over the country.

The ministry claims that the step is expected to revolutionise the field of radio infotainment, offer employment opportunities to the youths in smaller towns/cities all over the country, provide a boost to local programming and promote culture and heritage.

The review claims that the ministry initiated several policy measures and operational steps to smoothen the flow of information to the media as well as to the public at large during the year.While private radio stations throughout the country are set to usher in a revolution in the radio infotainment, policy on setting up of community radio has been liberalised to facilitate communities and non-profit organisations in this field. Public information campaigns were launched all over the country to empower the rural masses with information and the where withal of availing benefits under various schemes undertaken by the government.

According to the new Audio Visual Advertisement Policy, ministries/departments are no longer obliged to advertise on Prasar Bharati channels if they want to advertise on private channels. While making media plans, sufficient weightage is to be given to regional channels. Broad distribution of advertisements in monetary terms will now be 70 per cent for national channels and 30 per cent for regional channels.

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