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Last month, the I&B ministry wrote to Trai  to explore the possibility of auctioning satellite television channels as it does with FM radio stations and asked for its  feedback. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Last month, the I&B ministry wrote to Trai to explore the possibility of auctioning satellite television channels as it does with FM radio stations and asked for its feedback. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Trai to float a consultation paper on TV channel licences

Trai secretary S.K. Gupta says the process of getting a licence for a TV channel is very cumbersome, and the I&B ministry wants to know what can be done to streamline this process

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is working on a consultation paper to streamline the process of providing licences to television channels, said S.K. Gupta, secretary, Trai while speaking on the sidelines of the CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“There is a reference which has come from the ministry of information and broadcasting. We will come up with a consultation paper for the same. It is not going to be about the auction of TV channel licences. The reference by the ministry talks about the process. Currently, the process of getting a licence for a TV channel is very cumbersome.They want to know what can be done to streamline this process and how it can be made time bound and further encourage ease of doing business," he said.

“There are some other issues also that have been flagged. WPC (The wireless planning and coordination) has stopped giving permission (for new licences) as per the SC order that all airwaves have to be auctioned. Therefore, the ministry has asked what could be the various methods for this and to check if an auction is feasible," said Gupta. Trai regulates the country’s telecom and broadcast sectors.

Last month, the information and broadcasting ministry wrote to Trai to explore the possibility of auctioning satellite television channels as it does with FM radio stations and asked for its feedback.

The ministry has pointed out that following the auction route for permission to grant licences for general entertainment and news channels will bring in more money for the exchequer and cut down on the time taken to grant licences through a single-window clearance for stakeholders.

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