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Govt approves amendments in policy guidelines for expansion of FM radio

The Government has also accepted the long pending demand of the radio industry to remove the 15 percent National cap on channel holding

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New Delhi: The Union Government has approved the amendments of certain provisions contained in the policy on private FM radio, removing the three year window required for restructuring of FM Radio permissions within the same management group during the license period of 15 years.

Government said the decision to change Policy Guidelines on Expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services through Private Agencies (Phase-III), referred as Private FM Phase-III Policy Guidelines, was taken in the last Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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“Government has decided to remove the 3-year window period for restructuring of FM radio permissions within the same management group during the license period of 15 years. The Government has also accepted the long pending demand of the radio industry to remove the 15 percent National cap on channel holding,” an official statement said.  

“Further, with the simplification of financial eligibility norms in FM radio policy, an applicant company can now participate in bidding for ‘C’ and ‘D’ category cities with a net worth of just Rs.1 crore in place of Rs.1.5 crore earlier,” said the new guidelines. 

Government said these three amendments together will help private FM radio industry to fully leverage the economies of scale and pave the way for further expansion of FM radio and entertainment to Tier-III cities in the country, create new employment opportunities, and also ensure that music and entertainment over the FTA (Free to Air) radio media is available to the common man in the remotest corners of the country.

“To improve Ease of Doing Business in the country, the emphasis of the Government has been on simplification and rationalization of the existing rules to make Governance more efficient and effective so that its benefits reach the common man,” the statement said.

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