FM channel E-auctions likely from May
The government hopes to garner an estimated Rs 550.18 crore in revenue through e-auction of first batch of 135 FM radio channels in 69 cities which is likely to start in May. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Tuesday said the government had on January 16, this year, approved the the e-auction of first batch of channels under private FM Radio Phase III expansion. The minister said that a Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for bidding for the first batch was issued on March 2 this year, in response to which a total of 28 applications have been received. “The estimated revenue through auction of 135 FM channels is 69 existing cities is Rs 550.18 crore,” Rathore added. He also said that as per the tentative time lines, auction is scheduled to start in May 2015, depending on the completion of requisite formalities. Closing date of auction can’t be given as it depends upon bidder’s activity, he added. Replying to another question, Rathore said that in order to curb non-serious publications, amendment is being proposed in the draft Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill, 2015 by which registration of concerned publication may be cancelled on violation of certain conditions.