The Association of Radio Operations For India (AROI) appealed to the Centre on Sunday for a slew of reforms in view of the current economic situation, a statement said. The statement issued on Saturday by Anurradha Prasad Shukla, the president of AROI, said the radio industry has been struggling to deal with a steep de-growth, estimated at 20 percent, in advertising expenditure, that has been fuelled mainly by a steep fall in government advertising.
“All private radio stations have come together to appeal to the central government for a set of much-needed reforms which are critical for the radio industry, especially in light of the current economic situation, which has been further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis,” her statement said.
She listed out measures that need to be put in place to rescue the industry. These include a one-year waiver of license fees and Prasar Bharti charges for radio stations and restoration of government advertising on radio to normal levels and payment of government dues on advertising from DAVP, NFDC and BSNL. Since its inception, FM Radio has been an active and responsible partner of the government in the socioeconomic growth of India and has also contributed immensely through responsible messaging during natural and manmade disasters, the statement said.
“Radio has been one of the most responsible mediums of the country for communication at the grassroots level, and there has hardly been any complaint on any content by any radio station received by AROI or otherwise,” the statement said.
It said the health and wellbeing of the radio industry currently rests “on the able shoulders of the Centre”.