The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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FM licences

New Delhi, Sept. 2: The government is likely to encash the bank guarantees of FM radio licensees who have not paid up the fees with the deadline having expired last week.

Information and broadcasting ministry sources said the licensees were informed that the government would wait for a couple of days despite the deadline of August 29. However, today there was no official word from the ministry. The final list of license holders was not made public but it is possible that two have decided to opt out.

There are 14 licensees for the three metro FM circles ó Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta ó and the government was expecting to mop up about Rs 45 crore. Private operators are levied a license fee of Rs 7 crore each for Delhi, Rs 3 crore each for Chennai and Rs 1 crore for Calcutta.

Two licensees, Midday, which already operates an FM service in Mumbai, and Millennium Broadcasting are likely to opt out of getting into new broadcasting business. In that case, they will surrender the licenses.

Among those who have paid up or are expected to pay up are Radio Today, Sun Television, the Times groupís Entertainment Network (which holds the license for Calcutta) and Ispatís Music Broadcast India. The broadcasters had urged the government to extend the deadline as the infrastructure had not been readied.

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