I&B Min­istry Work­ing on New Pro­pos­als for FM Ra­dio Auc­tions

The Economic Times - - Companies - Our Bureau

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.

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