Aiming to give a boost to the community radio sector, the government today announced that 90 per cent subsidy will be provided for starting such stations in the northeastern states and 75 per cent in other states. Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu made this announcement at a conference of state ministers, organised by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after a gap of around seven years. As per the present rules, I&B ministry gives a subsidy of 50 per cent up to a limit of Rs 7.5 lakh, for starting community radio stations.
In his concluding remarks, Naidu also announced that a new dedicated Doordarshan channel for the northeastern states will come up in the first half of January. This channel will show the richness, variety and diversity of the local culture and seamlessly integrate these states with the rest of the country, he said.
Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore said collaboration between states and Centre is the “bedrock for good governance” and there is a need to “move forward together as Team India” in scripting the development of the nation.
Later, speaking to mediapersons at the sidelines of the event, to a question about reports that the Uttar Pradesh government wants to start a news channel, Naidu said, “There has been no direct communication. Why are they communicating through you (media)?”
“I have not received any such information. If it comes, I have an open mind, but we will see it in light of the policies that are there,” he said. The present Act only allows Doordarshan and All India Radio. States do not have their own channels, he said.
According to an official release by the Jharkhand government, Venkaiah Naidu said, “It gave him pleasure to see Jharkhand progressing fast under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das.” Even developed states are following Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in several matters, he observed during a conference of state information ministers and top officials in New Delhi.
The Union Information and Broadcasting minister also announced that those states which promote cinema will get Rs one crore as reward after assessment, the release said.