Ambika Soni: DAVP rate hike for Community Radio being examined

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3 Nov 2010
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* ‘Re 1 per minute rate shameful’

* ‘Community Radio Fund being considered’

NEW DELHI: Admitting that it was ‘shameful’ that the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity had fixed a rate of just Re 1 per minute for advertisements on community radio stations, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni today said a committee under the Economic Advisor of the Ministry was examining raising these rates.

Inaugurating the first National Community Radio Sammelan for operational Community Radio Stations in India here, Soni said the Ministry will also consider setting up a “Community Radio Fund” on the model followed in several countries.

This issue would be taken up on high priority with key agencies such as the Planning Commission and concerned ministries. The setting up of such a fund would ensure the sustainability and enhanced outreach of the Community Radio Movement within the country. The modalities would be completed within a stipulated time frame.

Noting that the funds given to members of Parliament had been raised substantially under the MP Land Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), she said the Ministry would examine if a certain portion of infrastructural costs of setting up of Community Radio stations within constituencies of MPs could be met from these funds while not impinging on the freedom of the broadcaster. Once the proposal was examined and prepared, Soni said the concerned ministry - Ministry of Programme Implementation - would be approached to examine the merits of the case. At the same time, MPs would also be sensitized on the merits of setting up such institutions within their respective constituencies. Such a move would enable quality information to be given in a form, content, dialect and language which the people understood.

She said increase in DAVP rates would enable the operational radio stations to generate revenue from advertisements. She called upon the participating agencies to generate maximum revenue from advertisements and assured the support of DAVP in streamlining advertisements to this medium.

Speaking on the potential of the medium, Soni said the pro-active functioning of CRS ensured quality information on flagship schemes of the government to the people in a language and dialect they could understand. Similarly, it would also make the local community conscious of their rights and entitlement. As a medium of communicationS, it would engage the local communities with empowering information thereby leading to national integration, pride and identity. The goal of each CRS
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