Centre mulling to allow news broadcast on pvt FMs: Javadekar

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Mumbai, June 1: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on May 31 said that the Centre is considering to allow privately-owned FM radio channels to start their own news broadcast.

"Why should FM channels be banned from broadcasting news? The Centre is considering to allow privately-owned FM radio channels to start their own news broadcast," Javadekar told reporters here.

"The auction of FM radios has already entered its third phase. We will issue the guidelines in this connection shortly," he added. The move is likely to benefit over two dozen private FM channels that are operational in the country at present, many of them owned by established media houses.

The government is in favour of getting the remaining part of the digitisation of TV cables completed through the domestically manufactured set-top boxes (STB), rather than depending on the neighbouring country China for the same, he said.

According to the minister, digitisation of four crore TV sets across the country has already been completed so far. However, for the completion of the remaining part of digitisation of 11.5 crore TV sets in the country comprising phase III and phase IV, we want to get the same done domestically, he said.

"It will help serve two purposes. While it will generate more employment, it will also ensure that the STBs get repaired in case or their becoming out of order", said he. Javadekar said he would discuss the topic with the Finance and Commerce ministers next week.

PTI

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