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Govt eyes Rs 51.41 bn from radio auctions and DTH licence in FY16

MUMBAI: The Union government has set itself a target of mopping up Rs 5,141.76 crore (Rs 51.41 billion) from the radio and direct-to-home (DTH) sector in the financial year 2015–16.

According to industry experts, the government could earn an estimated Rs 4000 crore (Rs 40 billion) from radio migration fee and Phase III auctions. Another Rs 1141 crore (Rs 11.41 billion) is expected to come from DTH licence fee.

The revenue from the Information and Broadcasting sector forms part of the non-tax revenue segment from which finance minister Arun Jaitley has set a target of earning Rs 221,732.59 crore (Rs 2.2 trillion).

During 2014–15, the government had set a target of Rs 2,058.35 (Rs 20.58 billion). However, as per the revised estimate, it is expected to end the financial year with half that amount at Rs 1,006.81 crore (Rs 10.06 billion).

The Cabinet had recently approved the proposal for Phase III auction of FM channels and migration of FM radio licences from Phase II to Phase III in 69 existing cities for 135 channels on payment of migration fee.

As regards DTH, in March 2014 the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had asked the DTH players to cough up pending licence fee dues amounting to Rs 2,066 crore (Rs 20.66 billion). The matter was challenged by DTH operators in the TDSAT, which asked the MIB not to press for dues until final orders.

The TDSAT recently passed an order stating that the matter be first decided by the Supreme Court where a similar appeal is pending before the bench.

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