MIB to encourage FM Radio stakeholders in smaller towns with e-auction

With an aim to encourage and promote social responsibility in the smaller towns, the I&B Ministry seeks local entrepreneurs to participate in the e-auction of the third batch of private FM radio frequencies under FM Radio Phase-III policy.

Smriti Irani, I&B Minister on the opportunity commented that, “We have been engaging with various stakeholders on how to ensure more and more people bid for local FM radio frequencies, especially in smaller towns. In the past, the bidders have been very limited.”

“We have reached out to industry bodies such as the CII and FICCI and stakeholders in the local industry bodies in this regard. We want more and more local entrepreneurs to bid for these FM radio frequencies,” she added.

During December 2017, the cabinet had approved of auctioning 683 and more FM players in 236 cities from even far North and North-East areas of India. Hence, the Ministry has begun to arrange for its infrastructure, including security checks, as part of the preparations for the e-auction. The ministry will also be appointing independent external monitors to oversee the e-auction of the subsequent batches of private FM radio channels.

The first round of auction was conducted in 2015, while the second round took place in 2016. Interestingly, 97 FM radio frequencies were sold in 56 cities in the first round and 66 radio channels in 48 cities were sold in the second round.

All 29 States and 6 Union Territories (Except Dadra and Nagar Haveli) are going to be covered under the complete rollout of FM Phase-III auctions.


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