Radio operators have petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar seeking an immediate relief package of Rs. 300 crore. In a letter, Anurradha Prasad, president of the Association of Radio Industries of India (AROI), has requested the government to consider an ‘economic survival package’ for FM radio industry.
“We have watched closely with hope the economic packages announced by the finance minister over the past week. However, we are deeply pained to note that none of these measures has any effect, whatsoever, on the private FM radio sector,” Prasad wrote.
“The only measure that could have some effect on smaller groups operating FM radio would have been extra credit facility for MSMEs.”
Highlighting the crisis staring at the industry, she said, “Only 31 out of 371 stations are micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME), while 340 do not fall into MSME segment. However, even the 31 out of 371 stations that fall in MSME, cannot avail the benefit, as being heavily dependent on Government Advertising which has dried up over last one year, they will have no revenue forecasts for repayment to avail the facility.”
Sending out an SOS request seeking an immediate relief package of Rs. 300 crore for FM radio, AROI president also pointed out that the FM industry, over the next 12 years, is expected to pay around Rs. 15,000 crore to the government in the form of entry fee, licence fee, migration fee and GST.