| 14 Jul 2024
Phase II renewal policy will soon be formal accepted by the I&B ministry

MUMBAI: It was clear in the last round table meeting chaired by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Secretary Bimal Jhulka, that Phase III pre-qualification advertisement will happen by mid-August or third week of August.

The point was made in front of more than 16 radio executives who were present during the meet held on 31 July. RBNL's CEO Tarun Katial, ENIL's MD and CEO Prashant Panday, Radio City CEO Apurva Purohit and Red FM's COO Nisha Narayanan were few of those present at the event. Along with the Phase III discussion, the industry requested I&B ministry to formulae the TRAI recommendation for migration of radio to Phase III from Phase II. The industry requested the ministry to have a process in place where auctions and migration would take place simultaneously.

Radio Operators for India (AROI) secretary general Uday Chawla confirmed the meet to

Panday informed that Julka categorically said that Phase III auctions will happen by October-November, and that the Phase II renewal policy will ‘soon' be accepted by the I&B Minister (it has already been cleared by the I&B Secretary as well as by the Inter Ministerial Committee).

Radio City CEO Apurva Purohit said, "The recent roundtable with I&B secretary was quite reassuring. This is a clear indication that the government means business and is serious about supporting the FM industry and its expansion plans."

There was a discussion about the foreign investment on radio. Currently, the FDI level has been proposed from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Red FM COO Nisha Narayanan stated the meeting has been an encouraging one. She further added, "The radio players emphasised the criticality of a formal notification from MIB accepting the migration formula recommended by TRAI. This is imperative for the industry so that they can plan accordingly and the ministry has shown positive signals about announcing the same formally. Other long standing issues including FDI, news, e-auction process were also discussed and clarified by the ministry."