Monday, March 10, 2014

Goverment of India Grants 100 crore to Promote Community Radio Stations

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in his interim budget, allots Rs 100 crore to promote community radio stations.

The Government has announced a new scheme with an allocation of Rs 100 crore to promote community radio stations. The proposal was made by Finance Minister P Chidambaram while presenting his interim budget (vote-on-account) for four months in view of the general elections later this year.

A total of just 161 community radio stations were operational by the government's own admission as of 1 December last year. A total of 223 applications were under process and 616 applications had been rejected.

A total of 1277 applications had been received by the government since 2004 till 1 December 2013. A total of 438 letters of intent had been issued and 194 grant of permission agreements had been signed.

Recently, Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) introduced a new scheme which will provide 50 per cent of the equipment cost to new and established community radio stations, provided the guidelines set by I&B are met by the Community radio.Under the initiative, NGO and educational institutions can finalise their equipment to be procured without government involvement.

According to the 11th Five Year Plan, Rs 100 crore was earmarked for community radio stations. Out of which Rs 90 crore is for building operational community radio stations, and the remainder Rs 10 crore for the workshops organised by the Ministry every year.