MIB seeks details to simplify forex payments for broadcasters, teleport ops

MIB seeks details to simplify forex payments for broadcasters, teleport ops

MUMBAI: In what it says is aimed at further easing norms for doing broadcast business, the government has asked for particulars from TV channels and teleport operators using services of foreign satellites for uplinking and temporary uplinking so payment of foreign exchange processes could be simplified.

Broadcasters need to provide the name of the company, name of the service provider, name of the country of the service provider, purpose for bandwidth utilization, service order number and validity of agreement, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a recent advisory.

In 2014, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) advised all broadcast companies and teleport operators to strictly follow the guidelines under the provisions of the FEMA Act 1999 and a notice by the RBI requiring prior approval of the MIB for making remittance of foreign exchange towards availing transponder services on foreign satellite for up-linking of TV channels/teleport services/DSNG operations/temporary events.

The TRAI has also urged the government to simplify the norms regarding licensing and clearance processes for broadcast companies. It even suggested that satellite spectrum allocation must be done through the year for the convenience of broadcasters.

It asked for streamlining of process for granting permission, giving security clearances within 60 days and setting up an integrated portal for everyone’s convenience.

Late last year, the ministry had asked TRAI to come up with a new set of rules for uplinking and downlinking norms since the previous one was six years old and technological advances have changed the broadcast sector. One of the key questions was whether there was a need to redefine the meaning of news and current affairs and non-news channels.

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