| 22 Jul 2024
More time for pre-qualification of bidders for Phase III, auctions likely by April/ May

NEW DELHI: The pre-qualification of bidders for FM Phase III will be 23 April or completion of requisite formalities, whichever is later; while the last date for receipt of applications from prospective bidders will be 27 March.

Until now, these dates were 17 April and 23 March, respectively, in the Notice Inviting Applications issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B Ministry) on 2 March.

The first batch of Phase III FM auctions is for 135 stations in 69 cities, which already have FM channels.

In addition, an e-auction will be held in eight new cities in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states.

In other amendments, the Ministry has said 13 April is the last date for Publication of ownership details of Applicants; Bidder Ownership Compliance Certificate can be given by 16 April by 5.00 p.m.

In a major step towards preventing monopolies, an amendment also says that the FM License is subject to the condition that: “No applicant, either directly or through its Subsidiary Company/Holding Company/Company with the Same Management/Inter-Connected Undertaking, shall have 25 per cent or more than 25 per cent equity shareholding either with voting rights or otherwise, in more than one licensee company in the same city for the FM Services.”

The amendments also says “In case audited financials of 30th September 2014 or a later date are not available then statutory auditors certificate based on audited financials of 31 March, 2014 apart from limited review for half year ending on 30 September, 2014 or a later date will be required.”  

A pre Bid conference was held on 10 March, the last date for seeking clarifications on NIA was extended to 20 March. A mock auction will be held within a week of the pre-qualification of bidders and the main e-auction a week thereafter.

The Ministry has placed the full details of the formalities on its website and has appointed M/s C1 India Private Limited as the “Auctioneer” to advise the Government on the Auction. Administration of the e-auction shall also be the responsibility of M/s C1 India Private Limited.

It has also placed on the website the reserve price of each city and station for e-auction. The frequencies available for Codhin have been reduced from four to three.

The Auction shall be a Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) e-auction, conducted over the Internet.