Batch three of FM radio e-auction in 236 cities gets Cabinet nod

Batch three of FM radio e-auction in 236 cities gets Cabinet nod

The Union Cabinet has approved the rollout of the third batch of e-auctions of private FM radio stations for 683 channels in 236 cities.

"The Cabinet approval has paved the way for undertaking the auction of 683 channels in 236 cities in subsequent batches," a source said.

"These cities include those in the border areas of Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast where the population is less than 1 lakh. This batch of the auction will also cover cities in districts which are badly affected by Left-wing extremism," the source added.

Batch-I and Batch-II auctions of private FM radio stations under Phase-III of the FM policy guidelines, as approved by the Cabinet in 2011, were held by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

A total of 97 channels in 56 cities were auctioned in Batch-I while it was 66 channels in 48 cities in Batch-II.

"With the complete rollout of FM Phase-III auctions, all the 29 states and 6 out of the 7 UTs (except Dadra & Nagar Haveli) will be covered by private FM radio broadcasting," the source said.

The government hopes that the move would generate "direct and indirect employment to more than 10,000 people on a pan India basis."

"These auctions will yield an estimated revenue of more than Rs 1,100 crore," the source added.

In order to ensure complete transparency, the Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending Process will be adopted for the e-auction.

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