Under the Phase III of FM radio privatization, the Union cabinet on Thursday has permitted the auction of 683 private radio frequencies across 236 cities in the country. An official statement from the government said that it will "usher in new/enhanced experience of FM in more cities.
Two batches of such auctions have already taken place in Phase III where 97 channels in 56 cities were sold in the first batch and 66 channels in 48 cities were sold in the second. The third batch will cover cities with no private radio presence, like places in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and north-east states with less population.
After the conclusion of Phase III, the government will likely cover all the 29 states and 6 out of 7 union territories private FM radio broadcasting.
The privatization is expected to generate direct and indirect employment of more than 10,000 persons across the country and generate an expected revenue of more than Rs 1,100 crore.
In the first and second batches of the Phase III auction, the government made more than Rs3,000 crore and Rs 200.24 respectively.