Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 23
The government today approved 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in direct-to-home (DTH) service, extension of the licence period from 10 years to 20 and a reduction in the fee for licence.
Briefing the media after the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “The Commerce Ministry had already spoken of 100 per cent FDI in the DTH sector, but because of the guidelines issued by my Ministry, the FDI was limited to 49 per cent. We have corrected that aberration today.”
The minister said, “The licence fee has also been reduced in keeping with the rates in the telecom sector and would be collected quarterly.”
A statement from the I&B Ministry said the proposed reduction was intended to align the licence fee regime applicable to the telecom sector and would 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 licence fee by them,” the statement read.
Currently, India has 18 crore television sets, out of which six crore operate on DTH. The ministry claimed that the revised guidelines would help in fair degree of stability and bring in new investments. Since the DTH sector was a highly employment intensive sector, these changes would increase employment opportunities, it added.