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MIB removes annual renewal obligation for TV channels; Naidu says move will benefit 963 firms

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has done away with the process of obtaining an “annual renewal” for TV channels in its current form, a move that is set to benefit 963 broadcasters and teleports in India.

Seen as part of the exercise to improve the ease of doing business in India, the new MIB order has come into force with immediate effect.

Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu made this announcement at the Economic Editors Conference. NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagriya and other senior officials were also present during the occasion.

Elaborating further, Naidu said that broadcasters who have been given the uplinking or downlinking permission can continue their operations by simply paying the annual permission fee up to 60 days before the due date. This by itself will be treated as permission for continuation of the channel for a further period of one year.

Naidu said that this initiative by the ministry is expected to provide a major relief to the TV channels and teleports. He said a total of 963 channels and teleports shall benefit from this decision.

In an order today, the MIB said that the matter of annual renewal of permission and payment of annual renewal/permission fee has been engaging the attention of the ministry for some time.

“The matter has been considered at length and it is decided that for all the broadcasters who have been given permission for Uplinking or Downlinking, usually for a period of 10 years, there shall not be a requirement of obtaining an annual renewal,” the MIB said in its order.

It further added that the “payment of annual permission fee 60 days before the due date will by itself be sufficient permission for continuation of a channel for a further period of one year from the due date provided the validity of 10-year permission is available”.

The order also clarified that the non-payment of fee in time will be considered as a violation of the guidelines and terms of permission. It will attract penal provisions as per the laws of permission for Uplinking and Downlinking.