Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has decided to announce Third Batch of FM Phase-III programme very shortly in which Belagavi will be one among the 283 Cities for auction of radio frequencies.
The FM Cell in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting grants commercial FM Radio broadcasting license to private companies registered in India under the Companies Act, 2013, to operate Private FM Radio channels on a city centric basis in the country through an ascending e-auction, in terms of FM Radio Phase-III Policy Guidelines, 2011. It is stated that private FM radio expansion in the country is being taken up in a phased manner.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Oct 16, 2019 floated a consultation paper to seek comments to finalise the methodology for setting reserve prices for the auction of the third batch of private FM radio frequencies, under the FM Radio Phase III policy.
This comes after the Information & Broadcasting Ministry sought TRAI’s recommendation on reserve prices for auction of radio frequencies in 283 cities to expand private FM radio across the country. This includes 23 existing cities where the government has auctioned private FM radio frequencies in the previous batches, while 260 cities will see auction of private FM radio frequencies for the first time. Currently, 356 private FM radio channels are operational in India.
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 2016 had issued a notification inviting applications for e-auction of 266 FM radio channels in 92 cities, including Belagavi, in the second batch of FM Phase III programme. The auction was held for four channels proposed for Belagavi, which has been listed under the C category (having a population of 3 lakh to 10 lakh) with a reserve price of Rs. 7.02 crore. The frequencies identified for selection (MHz) of channels are 92.1, 92.9, 93.7, 94.5, 104.2 and 105. but No bids were recieved.
At present no private FM Radio channel is operating in the city of Belagavi (Belgaum) Karnataka. However, four Private FM Radio channels are proposed to be auctioned in Belagavi in the next batch of e-auction, said Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a RTI reply filed by us.
There is a demand from residents of Belagavi to start FM channels for the city since beginning, Hopefully privates fm firms bid for Belagavi this time.