GoM finalises e-auction plan for FM Radio-Phase III

New Delhi, January 20, 2011

The Group of Ministers(GoM) on FM radio Phase-III has approved an e-auction model for award of over 700 private channels.

The format followed would be the one adopted for 3-G auction last year, sources in the Ministry said today.

The licence period for the radio stations is also understood to have been extended to 15 years from existing 10 years.

These decisions were taken by the GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, at its meeting here yesterday.

The auction for Phase II of FM Radio had resulted in huge revenue for the Government.

When new licences are granted, the number of FM radio channels was expected to cross 1,000 as 245 channels are already operational. Moreover, All India Radio was getting ready to launch a total of 320 FM Radio stations.

As many as 216 cities and towns will get private FM radio for the first time in Phase III, which would cover mostly small cities and towns.

The private FM radio would be allowed to transmit news and current affairs programmes only as broadcast by AIR.

NNN

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