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The Government revises guidelines for providing DTH

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 2 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, Dec 24:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  approved the proposal for revision of the guidelines for obtaining license for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in the country on Wednesday. 
As per new guidelines: 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% of the gross revenue (GR) to 8% of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which 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% of its total channel carrying capacity as permitted platform channels. A one-time non-refundable
registration fee of Rs.10,000 per Platform services (PS) channel shall be charged from a DTH operator. The Platform services (PS) are programmes transmitted by Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) exclusively to their own subscribers and do not include Doordarshan channels and registered TV channels.  
DTH operators, willing to share DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels, on voluntary basis and 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% FDI in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the extant Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT’s) policy on FDl as amended from time to time. The decision will come into effect after revised DTH guidelines are issued by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 
The proposed reduction is intended to align the license fee regime applicable to Telecom sector and will be prospectively applied. The difference may also enable DTH service providers to invest for more coverage leading to increased operations and higher growth and thereby enhanced and regular payment of License Fee by them. Registration fee for Platform Services is likely to bring a revenue of approximately Rs. 12 Lakh. Sharing of infrastructure by the DTH operators may bring in more efficient use of scarce satellite resources and reduce the costs borne by the consumers. Adoption of the extant FDI policy will bring in more foreign investment into the country. 
The DTH is operable on pan-India basis. DTH sector is a highly employment intensive sector. 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, official communication stated.

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