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Govt has decided to ease annual renewal norms for TV channels: Naidu

New Delhi: The government has decided to ease the “annual renewal” norms for TV channels and existing broadcasters can continue operations by simply paying annual permission fee 60 days before the due date, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.

“As part of the government’s initiative of ease of doing business, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has completely done away with the process of obtaining an annual renewal for TV channels in the current form,” he said.

Naidu said that “broadcasters who have been given the permission for uplinking or downlinking can continue their operations by simply paying the annual permission fee upto 60 days before the due date, which by itself will be treated as permission for continuation of a channel for a further period of one year.”

This decision, the minister emphasised, would benefit a total of 963 channels and teleports.

The I&B ministry, Naidu said, is committed to the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote ease of doing business and will continue to take more steps in consultation with stakeholders.

The minister, who was addressing the Economic Editors’ Conference here, also lauded the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes, saying the Prime Minister wants to realise ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India), in terms of ‘tan’, ‘man’ and ‘dhan’ (body, mind and wealth).

Naidu said that while some people maintain the government has taken a sudden step of demonetising the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, the government has been taking steps related to curbing the black money menace ever since it came to power.

He said that soon after coming to power, the government, at its first Cabinet meeting, had set up an SIT to bring back large amounts of money stashed abroad.

“Some people are saying it was done all of a sudden, people should have been given advance notice…Advance notice for what? I am not able to understand,” Naidu said.

He said that the historic step has been hailed by all except “some vested interests” who were trying to create panic.

He emphasised that common people can exchange their hard-earned money with new notes and that genuine problems are being addressed.

Naidu also said that the media while highlighting the inconveniences, should also show the larger picture on the benefits of the move for the country.

He said some people were calling it an “emergency”, but those who are worried are people like unscruplous arms dealers, drug dealers.

The latest decision was not taken in isolation but is a part of series of steps, Naidu said, noting that these steps include setting up of SIT, agreements with countries like Mauritius and Cyprus and income declaration scheme.

He said that the economy was in a bad shape when the Modi government came to power but the macroeconomic indicators are better now and common people will benefit.