Govt to up DAVP ad rates for community radio stations to Rs 4/sec | india | Hindustan Times
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Govt to up DAVP ad rates for community radio stations to Rs 4/sec

Fulfilling a longstanding demand, the government will raise its audio-visual publicity department’s (DAVP) advertisement rate of Re 1 per second to Rs 4 per second for community radio stations. Sanjib Kr Baruah reports.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2012 22:43 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

Fulfilling a longstanding demand, the government will raise its audio-visual publicity department’s (DAVP) advertisement rate of Re 1 per second to Rs 4 per second for community radio stations.

“The rate is being revised to Rs 4 per second while the community radio stakeholders had sought Rs 7 per second,” a senior government source told HT.

Even this rate will be a huge fillip for the sustainability of a medium that has been full of promise and often touted as the medium that will usher in the next revolution in mass communication in the country.

The government is already adopting a proactive stand to facilitate community radio stations across the country because of the societal relevance and purpose the medium serves often serving as the only voice for the marginalized.

Last year during the First National Community Radio Sammelan, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni had promised to revise the rate from the Re 1 per second rate which she termed as “shameful”.

The second National Community Radio Sammelan takes off in New Delhi on Saturday where the national community radio awards will also be announced.

Availability of adequate funds is a major issue for community radio stations.

“The economic hurdles facing the 126 community radio stations across the country can be deciphered from the fact that only 10 have managed to break even and are earning some profits,” said R Sreedhar, a leading expert on community radio.

The government is also learnt to be working on a dedicated fund for development of community radio stations with a Rs 170 crore corpus. This fund will provide seed money to community radio stations during the 12th Plan period. Another proposals being worked out is using funds from the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

Many countries have dedicated funds for community radio stations with some being set up by international organizations like Unicef and Unesco.

Another issue that the medium is struggling against is procedural mainly because of staffing requirements in the telecom ministry which releases spectrum for community radio stations.