Govt. mulling four-fold increase in ad rates for CRS

NEW DELHI: The Government is considering raising advertisement rates of the Department of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) from Re 1 per second to Rs 4 per second for community radio stations (CRS). The CRS stations had demanded a rate of Rs 7 per second.

The government is also learnt to be working on a dedicated fund for development of CRS with a Rs 1.70 billion corpus to provide seed money to community radio stations during the 12th Plan period. Another proposal being worked out is using funds from the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

The Government wants the CRS to devote a large part of their programming to making the people aware of the flagship programmes, and ensure participatory communication.

The Centre is prepared to give help to the CRS to achieve this, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said in an interview over All India Radio.

Soni said the total number of CRS that stood at around 30 two years back had gone up to 135. And 240 more CRS are in the pipeline for clearances from various departments, she added.

The Minister said radio was the best way to reach out to the target group of people enabling them to avail the benefits of the massive development schemes being implemented by the government.

Soni emphasised that all efforts should be made for knowledge about the massive Government development programmes benefiting the rural people, the farmers and the poor and under privileged should percolate to the grass root level.

The minister said suggestions from the Open House forum of a three-day workshop being held in New Delhi on Community Radio led by I&B Joint Secretary Supriya Sahu will be utilised to fine tune radio communication to meet the requirements of the local people.

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