Cabinet approves revision in guidelines for providing DTH services; licenses to be issued for 20 years

Cabinet approves revision in guidelines for providing DTH services; licenses to be issued for 20 years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on December 23 approved the revision in guidelines for obtaining licence for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in India.

As per the revised norms, the DTH licence will be issued for a period of 20 years in place of present 10 years. Further the period of Licence may be renewed by 10 years at a time, and licence fee will be collected quarterly.

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“The Cabinet today decided to approve revision in guidelines for providing DTH services in the country. Now, DTH licence to be issued for 20 years, the license fee will be collected quarterly,” Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said during a press conference.

Paving the way for 100 per cent foreign investment in the sector, the Union Cabinet has decided to align the cap of 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the existing DTH guidelines with the extant government (DPIIT’s) policy on FDl as amended from time to time.

The commerce and industry ministry had earlier provided for 100 per cent FDI in DTH. But, due to I&B guidelines, it was restricted to 49 per cent. After today’s decision, 100 per cent FDI can come in the sector, the minister said.

“DTH operators now will be permitted to operate to a maximum of 5 percent of their total channel carrying capacity as permitted platform channels. A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator,” said a statement.

The government has also allowed sharing of Infrastructure between DTH operators, willing to share DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels, on a voluntary basis.

The amended DTH guidelines, with longer licence period and clarity on renewals, relaxed FDI limits, etc, will ensure a fair degree of stability and new investments in the DTH sector along with employment opportunities, the government said in the statement.

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