The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to revise the guidelines for obtaining a license for Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service, to mak the period 20 years instead of existing 10 years.
The Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal that license for the DTH will be issued for a period of 20 years in place of present 10 years. Further, the period of license may be renewed by 10 years at a time.
The license fee has been revised from 10 percent of GR to 8 percent of AGR.
"AGR will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR. License Fee will be collected on quarterly basis in lieu of presently annual basis. DTH operators shall be permitted to operate to a maximum of 5 percent of its 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," a government statement said.
According to the Centre, the DTH sector is a highly employment intensive sector, as it directly employs DTH operators as well as those in the call centres besides indirectly employing a sizeable number of installers at the grass-root level. The amended DTH guidelines, with longer license period and clarity on renewals, relaxed FDI limits, etc., will ensure fair degree of stability and new investments in the DTH sector along with employment opportunities, said the statement.
According to the proposal, DTH operators, willing to share DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels, on voluntary basis, will be allowed. Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share the common hardware for their Subscriber Management System (SMS) and Conditional Access System (CAS) applications.
"The cap of 49 percent FDl in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the extant Government (DPIIT's) policy on FDI as amended from time to time. The decision will come into effect as per revised DTH guidelines issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting," the statement added.
The Centre said the proposed reduction is intended to align the license fee regime applicable to telecom sector and will be applied prospectively.
Emphasising on sharing of infrastructure, the Centre said this may bring in more efficient use of scarce satellite resources and reduce the costs borne by the consumers.
( With inputs from IANS )