I&B ministry approves Rs 100 crores plan to setup 500 new Community Radio Stations

New Delhi/February 11

In order to provide fresh impetus to Community Radio movement, Union Information and Broadcasting ministry gave its approval to Rs 100 crores to setup new community radio stations.
The Information and Broadcasting minister, Manish Tiwary said, “The Union Government, in order to give the Community Radio movement a fresh impetus, will provide Rs.100 crores in the 12th plan. During the Plan period, the ministry has proposed to set up 500 new Community Radio Stations (CRS) also.”
Tewari further stated that the I&B ministry had identified key benchmarks for the Plan period whereby a roadmap would be prepared to provide assistance for operating Community Radio Stations. “Rs.90 crores will be provided by the government for financial support to community radio stations while Rs.10 crore will be allocated for training, capacity building and awareness activities of Community Radio Stations. Provisions had also been made for providing grants in this sector, for research and innovations,” Tiwary said. He sated that taking into account the role and relevance of such interventions, the ministry has also made a provision for Emergency Grant for CRS. Several key proposals and initiatives are being looked into in order to encourage the working of such stations.
Tiwary added that efforts are being made by the ministry in coordinating relevant issues with the Ministry of Communications and IT with regard to better frequency allocation plan for the CRSs and it was likely that the Department of Telecom would announce the spectrum waiver decision shortly. “The need to facilitate a vibrant business model was in the offing to ensure the sustainability of the movement, the ministry had taken the initiative to promote the streamlining and simplification of Community Radio empanelment through DAVP thereby, ensuring that the empanelled stations got a fair share of government advertisement,” added Tiwary.