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New DTH rules

Cabinet okays new DTH service norms, license to be issued for 20 years

DTH recharged with 100% FDI, new rules for license

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for revision of the guidelines to seek a license for Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting services in India. In the meeting presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central govt decided that the license for the DTH will be issued for a period of 20 years, which can further be renewed by 10 years at a time. Before the new DTH rules, the license was valid for a tenure of 10 years only.

DTH license fee revised by Centre

Apart from increasing the tenure, the govt decided to revise the license fee from 10% of Gross Revenues (GR) to 8% of Adjusted Gross Revenues (AGR) which will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR. With the introduction of new norms, license Fee will be collected on a quarterly basis in place of annually.

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Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar informed the media that the DTH operators will be allowed to offer up to maximum 5% platform services of its total channel carrying capacity. Also, a one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per platform services will be charged from the DTH operators.

49% FDI cap removed in sync with policy

Most importantly, the ministry announced that the cap of 49% FDl in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the existing government policy that permits 100 per cent FDI in the DTH service.

Prakash Javadekar said, ‘The Commerce Ministry had already spoken of 100% FDI in the DTH sector, but because of the guidelines issued by the IB Ministry, the FDI was limited to 49%. We have corrected that aberration today.’

The revision in the guidelines was long due, though the DTH operators expected more from the government, who have been demanding a level playing field with the cable industry waiving off the licence fee.