| 22 Jul 2024
National ceiling limit of 15 per cent for FM bidders to remain as government declines change

NEW DELHI: The Government has reiterated the national ceiling limit of 15 per cent FM channels that a single entity can hold.  The percentage will remain the same as decided by the Union Cabinet in July 2011.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has thereby rejected the view of stakeholders that even the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had twice recommended of the ceiling as early as 2008 as ‘not practical’.

In a pre-bid meeting held last month, the Ministry however agreed to reveal shortly the cities and frequencies that will be excluded from this 15 per cent national cap.

The Ministry also rejected the objection to the Policy Guideline that for calculation of citywide limits, this will be rounded off to the nearest whole number in case forty per cent figure is a decimal.

The Ministry has said that in the Eligibility Criteria, the term ‘interconnected undertaking’ will have the same meaning as in the prevalent laws in India. It has dropped an internal memorandum making changes in this as on 21 January, and has said that ownership compliance certificate - substantial equity of ten per cent - will continue to stand.

The Ministry amended the networth requirement saying the applicant company will furnish annual reports and audited fiscal accounts for the last three years, or from the date of incorporation, till 31 March 2014.

But a company registered after that date will have to show these accounts only till September 2014.

The Ministry has indicated the possible frequencies of 135 channels in 69 existing cities.

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