| 05 Feb 2023
No state left out in 227 new cities getting FM radio under Phase III: Naidu

NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiaih Naidu said that that no state had been left out in the proposal for introduction of private FM radio in 227 new cities in Phase III.

Naidu told the Lok Sabha that two key changes had been made in the existing FM Phase-III Policy. Existing permission holders have been allowed to migrate their Phase-II licenses to Phase-III on payment of migration fee. With migration, the existing channels will continue uninterrupted and their employees will be able to retain their employment.

Secondly, the FDI/FII limit under FM Phase-III has been enhanced to 49 per cent from the earlier 26 per cent. The increase in FDI is expected to provide the companies with additional capital in setting up of FM radio channels in cities not covered so far.

Out of 227 new cities identified for introduction of private FM radio, applications have already been invited for awarding licence through e-auction in 69 cities under batch-II of FM Phase-III.

The Policy envisages setting up of private FM radio channels in all cities/towns having population above one lakh (based on 2001 census).

As an exception to this stipulation, 11 towns in Jammu & Kashmir, North East & Island Territories (having population less than one lakh) have also been proposed for setting up FM radio channels.

The present Policy on expansion of FM Radio Broadcasting services through Private Agencies (Phase-III) approved by Union Cabinet on 07.07.2011 seeks to extend FM radio services to 227 new and uncovered cities, in addition to the present 67 cities, with a total of 839 new FM radio channels in 294 cities. Under Phase-III Policy, new FM channels are to be awarded through an auction process.