I&B Ministry Working on New Proposals for FM Radio Auctions
Mumbai: The information and broadcasting ministry is preparing a new set of proposals for the next batch of private FM radio phase III auctions, secretary Sunil Arora said at the three-day media and entertainment industry conclave FICCI Frames in Mumbai on Friday. He said that on the basis of the learnings of the first batch of auctions, which took place last year, the ministry will go to the Cabinet with the new proposals on lock-in period and reserve price.
The three-year lock-in period was a bone of contention for the existing radio broadcasters as the current policy mandates that the shareholding of the largest Indian shareholder in a radio broadcasting company cannot be reduced below 51% for a period of three years from the date on which all the channels allotted to the company holding permission stand operationalised.
In his address, Arora said that the ministry was also guided by the “minimum government, maximum governance” philosophy and remained committed to promoting ease of doing business in the media and entertainment sector.
“One of our primary objectives is to bring down the number of visitors to Shastri Bhavan to a trickle, move towards less regulation and facilitate India to become the hub of media and entertainment industry,” he said. Talking about clearances to film industry for shooting, Arora said that the government is easing the process of security clearances to allow greater flexibility for the film fraternity.
Underlining the challenges for making India a global media and entertainment hub, he said that the theatre density in the country leaves a lot to be desired and there is need to increase the number of theatres. On the taxation side, he said that the levies will be rationalised automatically once the GST (goods and services tax) is in place.