New Delhi: Indian DTH Industry is likely to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is looking to send the new DTH policy for Cabinet approval by this year-end.
The Industry honchos were lobbying for various issues including the extension of license period to longer duration, while the Ministry has been working on finalising the new policy for the DTH sector for some time now which will introduce new licensing regime for players.
Speaking at the CII Big Picture event, Secretary in the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Amit Khare, said the new DTH policy has been finalised and the Ministry is hoping to send it for Cabinet approval by the year-end. He said the Ministry is looking to get a Cabinet nod for the policy by the month-end, as the interim licences of some of the DTH players will expire by December 31.
Earlier this year, TRAI had reiterated its recommendations to the Ministry on new licensing conditions for DTH players. It had recommended that licences be issued for a period of 20 years and thereafter should be renewed for 10 years. It had also recommended a one-time entry fee of ₹10 crore. Currently leading players such as Dish TV and Tata Sky are operating on interim licences given by the Ministry, till the new DTH policy gets finalised and approved.
Addressing a session at the event, Khare said the government is focusing on playing the role of a facilitator so that the media and entertainment sector can continue to see robust growth which has largely being led by private players.
The Ministry may also look at holding consultations with industry stakeholders for the formulation of a national broadcast policy. It will focus on bringing policy changes keeping in view this era of convergence as well as improvements required in the licensing framework among other issues.
It may be noted that Dish TV’s MD JawaharGoel has written to TRAI requesting the regulator to advise the government to rationalize costs and taxes being levied presently on the DTH operators since the govt is in the process of finalizing the new guidelines for DTH licensing.