Govt clears amendments in FM radio policy guidelines

NEW DELHI: The Central government has given its approval for amendments to a few clauses in the Private FM Phase-III Policy Guidelines, also known as the Policy Guidelines on Expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services via Private Agencies (Phase-III).

The government has decided to remove the three-year window period for FM radio permit restructuring within the same management group during the licencing period of 15 years in order to move in this direction.

The government has also agreed to the radio industry's long-standing demand that the 15% National Cap on Channel Holding be lifted. Further, the FM radio policy's streamlined financial eligibility requirements, an application corporation can now compete in bidding for "C" and "D" category cities with a net worth of just Rs 1 crore, as opposed to Rs 1.5 crore previously.

The decision was made during the Cabinet meeting that was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.

According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, these three changes taken together will aid the commercial FM radio sector in maximising economies of scale and open the door for additional FM radio and entertainment expansion into Tier-III cities across the nation. In addition to creating new employment opportunities, this will guarantee that the general public in even the most remote regions of the nation has access to music and entertainment via FTA (Free to Air) radio media.

The government has placed a strong emphasis on streamlining and rationalising current regulations in order to improve the ease of doing business in the nation and strengthen governance so that its advantages are felt by the average citizen.

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