The Government today announced a new scheme to promote community radio with an allocation of Rs 100 crore.
This will support about 600 new and existing community radio stations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting his budget for 2014-15. Speaking to Radioandmusic.com, Community Radio Association vice-president NA Shah Ansari said, "There is no plan in place which could help the existing stations. There is grant of 7.50 lakh which will help the new community radios, but not the existing ones."
Pointing at the other flaws, Ansari said, "Last year, the ministry spent the grant for research, meeting and consultation on community radio stations. However, there was no direct help provided to the community radio stations.
He said that 400 permissions for setting up of a Community Radio Stations had been issued so far. Ansari added, "In the last budget, there was a similar plan for community radio but nothing productive happened. There have been no licenses issued in three years."
PWC Entertainment and Media Practice India Leader Smita Jha, "Budgetary allocations for promoting community radio are also welcome, though the sector policies need re-visiting to ensure the viability of these stations on a long-term basis."
The Government had recently announced a scheme for grants to those who come up with innovations in development of community radio and has also instituted annual awards in various categories for community radio stations.
Via Jaisakthivel, Chennai, India