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The government has enhanced the subsidy amount to set up community radio stations across the country from the existing 50 per cent to 75 per cent, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said today.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister, who reviewed the performance of All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra here, said universities and NGOs would be encouraged to set up community radios and can also receive 70 per cent subsidy.
He also told reporters that the subsidy for states in the north eastern region will be 90 per cent.
Community radio is an empowering tool and a very useful tool to cater to the people in local dialect, he said, adding such radio stations broadcast programmes which are of "immediate" relevance to the community.
Responding to a query about enhancing the services of public broadcasters on par with private ones, Naidu said he has directed officials to produce quality programmes to compete with private FM channels.
"Earlier, government means no accountability. But, now (it means) accountability. People are asking for more information, more facilities. I have asked them (public broadcasters) to take the lead and produce quality programmes," he said.
"Public broadcasting is an essential service and the prime minister (Narendra Modi) chose AIR and Doordarshan for his 'Mann ki baat' programme due to these reasons," he said.
On granting of digital licence to Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation, run by the state government, he said the ministry decided to give away the license considering the affordabale rates offered to public.
"When people can view more channels at affordable rates then why not give licenses? That is why we decided to issue the license," he said.
On enhancing the services of Press Information Bureau (PIB), he said the Tamil version of PIB would be launched by August 15 in Tamil Nadu.
On upgrading facilities at Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai, he said 245 studio high definition cameras and 254 field cameras have been procured for upgrading the infrastructure.
"An HD TV Studio has also been planned at a cost of Rs 15 crore. It will be commissioned in 2017-18," he said.
About his visit to Chennai, Naidu said he would meet chief minister K Palaniswami tomorrow at the secretariat to discuss central and state government projects.