FM Radio channels' e-auction approved

The Union Cabinet gave its nod for auction of FM radio channels under phase-III and renewal of licenses from phase-II to III in 69 existing cities for 135 channels.
This will be on an ascending e-auction basis. Approval was also given to migration (renewal) of private FM Radio licenses from phase-II to phase-III on payment of migration fee according to TRAI recommendations. As of now, there are 243 private FM channels in 86 cities of the country , spanning 26 States and 3 union territories.
A statement from the government said, “The auction process will add an estimated revenue of over Rs.550 crore to the national exchequer on successful auctions of all proposed channels. Besides, it will give the amount realized through the migration process, which is dependent on the TRAI recommended formula, where migration fee is linked with the discovery of market prices through the FM Radio phase-III auction.“
Roll out of the first batch of FM radio phase-III auction will provide more channels to listeners with richer content in 69 existing cities. The cabinet has also approved correcting reserve price for 13 out of the 67 existing cities.The I&B ministry has also been authorized to extend the license periods of 21 channels for a year in case the auction or post auction formalities go beyond the March 2015 deadline, sources said. A committee of secretaries, including those from the department of economic affairs, finance, telecom, I&B will be set up to approve the list of successful bidders, sources added.
The cabinet nod came after the Election Commission's go-ahead for the auction. The EC was assured by the I&B ministry that only the tendering process would be taken up for now. 

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