DTH Services in India: Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the proposal for revision of the guidelines for obtaining a license for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in India.
The salient features of the decision regarding Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in India are:
- License for the DTH will be issued for a period of 20 years in place of the present 10 years. Further the period of License may be renewed by 10 years at a time.
- The license fee has been revised from 10 percent of GR to 8 percent of AGR. AGR will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR.
- License Fee will be collected on a quarterly basis in lieu of the present annual basis.
- DTH operators shall be permitted to operate .to a maximum of 5 percent of its total channel carrying capacity as permitted platform channels. A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs.10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator.
- Sharing of Infrastructure between DTH operators. DTH operators, willing to share the DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels, on a voluntary basis, will be allowed.
- Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share the common hardware for their Subscriber Management System (SMS) and Conditional Access System (CAS) applications.
- The cap of 49 percent FDl in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the extant Government (DPIIT's) policy on FDl as amended from time to time.
- The decision will come into effect as per revised DTH guidelines are issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The proposed reduction is intended to align the license fee regime applicable to the Telecom sector and will 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 License Fee by them.
The registration fee for Platform Services is likely to bring a revenue of approximately Rs. 12 Lakhs. The sharing of infrastructure by the DTH operators may bring in more efficient use of scarce satellite resources and reduce the costs borne by the consumers. Adoption of the extant FDI policy will bring in more foreign investment into the country.
The amended guidelines in DTH Services in India will ensure a fair degree of stability and new investments in the DTH sector along with employment opportunities.