No policy sops on news, FDI for FM radio till Phase III

No policy sops on news, FDI for FM radio till Phase III

NEW DELHI: Private FM radio operators will have to wait for Phase III before they get any policy sops on news and foreign direct investment (FDI).

Information and broadcasting ministry sources indicate the Government has no plans to give any fresh concessions to the private FM channels till a final position is taken on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Phase III of FM radio expansion.

"The recommendations on permitting news and other financial concessions will only be considered when a final position is taken on phase III of private FM broadcasting," says a senior I&B ministry source.

Trai is in favour of allowing private FM stations to broadcast news, albeit with certain conditions.

Meanwhile, official figures say a total of 248 private FM radio stations and 171 FM transmitters of All India Radio stations are operational in the country.

Maharashtra with 31 has the largest number of private FM stations, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with 21 each and Rajasthan with 19. Kerala has 17 stations, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have 16 each. West Bengal has 15, Karnataka 14, Andhra Pradesh 13, and Punjab 12 stations.

Delhi has eight private FM stations, followed by Jharkhand with seven, Haryana with six, and Chhatisgarh and Orissa, with five each. All the other union territories besides Delhi have a total of five stations. Assam has four, Goa three, and Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Sikkim have two each, while Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura have one each.

Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Uttarakhand do not have any private FM station at present.

While Maharashtra has 17 AIR FM transmitters, Karnataka has 14, and Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have 13 each. Rajasthan has 12, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 10. Tamil Nadu has nine, followed by Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal with eight, and Kerala and Orissa with seven each. Assam, Gujarat, and Jharkhand have five AIR transmitters, and all union territories besides Delhi have a total of five transmitters.

Bihar, Chhatisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh have four each, while Haryana, Punjab and Tripura have three AIR transmitters. Delhi, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland have two each while Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand have one transmitter each. Sikkim is the only state which does not have an AIR FM transmitter.

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