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Community Radios will now be allowed to retransmit AIR news

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

While airing of own content by privately run radio stations is restricted due to its sensitive nature, Government will now be allowing Community Radios to retransmit broadcast by All India Radio. Speaking at the third Community Radio Sammelan here, I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma also hinted that there could be complete waiver of the spectrum fee for Community Radios. He said that there was a stream of thought that questioned the government's stand on not allowing local on community radio. "That's (on community radio) an issue, which is quite a sensitive issue. You will realise that in a country like India, where we have no mechanism to know what is going on, if some damage is done, we'll not know for a long time," Varma said. On the other hand, he said, it could also be argued that people who ran Community Radio stations are responsible and could be trusted. "The fact for the matter is that even for FM which is a far more commercial venture, we have not allowed which they can create on their own, but we have in the proposed policy that they could perhaps use the AIR I am willing to offer that to you," Varma told representatives of Community Radio stations. Community Radio stations broadcast with the objective of serving the cause of a community in a small geographical area. Varma said that the hiking of spectrum fee for Community Radio stations from Rs 19,000 to Rs 91,000 was not very advisable and the ministry had taken up the matter very proactively and expected that there will be a waiver of the fee for Community Radio stations. "Our feedback is that the spectrum fee has been waived but there are certain procedures which are required. Those procedures are underway and soon - I really can't make a commitment because it is not in my hands - but it is expected that the complete waiver of the spectrum fee will become a reality very very shortly," Varma said.

First Published: Sun, February 10 2013. 00:00 IST
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