New Delhi : The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today said operators of radio channels in the FM Phase-III regime will be provided licence for a period of 15 years as compared to 10 years under Phase-II and allowed more foreign investment.
In a statement issued here, the Ministry said it has issued Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for e-auction of 135 private FM Radio channels in 69 existing cities of Phase-II in the first batch of FM Phase-III on 2nd March.
“The first batch auction will pave the way for FM Phase-III regime, which will bestow many new facilities on the operators. In Phase-III, licence will be for 15 years as against 10 years in Phase-II. Total FDI/FII allowed in new regime is 26 per cent as compared to 20 per cent in Phase-II,” the Ministry said.
It said that an operator in Phase-III regime may own up to 40 per cent of channels in the same city subject to three different operators in the city, whereas earlier policy provided for only one channel per city per operator.
“New regime also gives an operator networking facility in its own network within the country. Unlike Phase-II, Phase-III regime permits the operators to carry news bulletins of All India Radio in unaltered form on mutually agreed terms and conditions with Prasar Bharati,” the Ministry said.
The statement said as the government has rejuvenated its approach towards Northeastern states with its ‘Act East’ policy, the FM Phase-III policy also exudes this sentiment.
“It provides much needed support to the FM radio broadcasting services in cities of North Eastern part of India as in the cities of Jammu and Kashmir and Island territories, with provision of annual fee of the channels in these areas at half the rates for first three years, besides Prasar Bharati Infrastructure at half the lease rentals,” the Ministry said.