The I&B ministry has declined the recommendations made by TRAI on the revision of reserve price for FM radio phase III auction. This comes as a bad news for the radio channel operators as they believed that they will be relived from paying the reserve price for the auction. The regulator has also informed the government that determining the reserve price will complicate the auction process.
As per the ministry the decision of fixing the phase III reserve prices was taken by the Union cabinet and the decision cannot be reversed. The phase III will witness 839 FM channels across 294 cities put up for auction for private FM expansion. The government aims to fast-track the auction process which is scheduled for the month of October. However, the ministry has accepted recommendation made by the regulator and has agreed for allowing 15-year licence period for operators migrating from phase II to phase III. TRAI has also suggested a lower minimum channel spacing of 400KHz for FM radio broadcast to enable more radio stations which has not been accepted by the ministry.
As reported by PTI, Bimal Julka I&B secretary said, “The ministry has accepted the Trai recommendations with some exceptions.”