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  India   All India  29 Jul 2018  DTH operators get nod to operate till December 31

DTH operators get nod to operate till December 31

THE ASIAN AGE. | NITIN MAHAJAN
Published : Jul 29, 2018, 1:24 am IST
Updated : Jul 29, 2018, 1:24 am IST

Centre gives interim clearance ahead of policy unveiling.

The Central  government  is yet to take a  final call on the  TRAI’s recommendation on the new Direct To Home licence conditions. (Representational image)
 The Central government is yet to take a final call on the TRAI’s recommendation on the new Direct To Home licence conditions. (Representational image)

New Delhi: Ending months of uncertainty, the Narendra Modi government has given “interim clearance” to Direct To Home (DTH) operators for continued operations in the country till December 31 this year. The approval came as the Union information and broadcasting ministry has initiated a process to unveil a new policy for the sector, which is expected to be finalised in the next few months.

Sources stated that the I&B ministry has decided to issue interim licences till the government takes a final call on the TRAI’s recommendation on the new DTH licence conditions. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had in its recommendations on April 13 reiterated its recommendation to the I&B ministry that direct-to-home licences be issued for a period of 20 years and then renewed for 10 years, and a one-time entry fee of `10 crore be charged in the new DTH licensing regime and not the `25 crore proposed by the government. The recommendations came on the I&B ministry’s proposal which called for grant of DTH licence for an initial period of 10 years and thereafter, renewal of the licence after 10 years.

 

It is understood that the I&B ministry is expected to withdraw the current cabinet note before the Union council of ministers. A new note is expected to be put forth the cabinet once the policy is formalised in the next few months.

Over the past few months, the I&B ministry has been in talks with the TRAI and the stakeholders regarding the licence tenure, entry fee and other charges for the DTH operators. The I&B ministry had also sought the broadcasting authority’s recommendations on the issue. The DTH operators had also been demanding that they be allowed to increase the carriage for channels, which is also likely to be reviewed in the new policy.  The industry had also pointed out that the sector was highly capital-intensive and required investments not only in the initial stages but also in the operational stages.

 

Tags: narendra modi government, direct to home (dth)