The government on Tuesday announced the removal of the three-year window period of restructuring of FM radio permissions within the same management group during the licence period of 15 years, a move that is expected to pave the way for further expansion of such services in smaller cities.
The decision to amend the Policy Guidelines on Expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting Services through Private Agencies (Phase-III) was taken at the meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.
The amendments also include simplification of the financial eligibility norms to allow participation of companies with net worth of Rs 1 crore in the bidding process for category 'C' and 'D' cities. Earlier, the mandatory net worth of a company to participate in the bidding process was Rs 1.5 crore.
The government has also accepted the long pending demand of the radio industry to remove the 15 per cent national cap on channel holding, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said on Tuesday.
The three amendments together will help the 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, it said.
"This will not only create new employment opportunities but 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," it said.
The approved amendments to Phase-III policy guidelines for private FM are expected to provide a fillip to 'Ease of Doing Business' in the country, the ministry said.
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