Private FM radio channels may soon be able to broadcast news, with the PM Narendra Modi government keenly inclined in this favour and promising to take a decision soon.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said he has given "in principle" approval for broadcast of news on private FM Radio and a decision in this regard would be taken soon.
He said representatives of FM Radio stations had met him and he had told them that he had no objection to allowing them to broadcast news.
According to the proposal, the FM channels can broadcast news, sourcing from All India Radio.
However, the Minister said they can have an option of sourcing it from PTI as well.
"There is an option. We can give you an option. If you are taking it from PTI, it's an option," Javadekar said as having told the FM channel heads.
"So that's how we are discussing. We will arrive at a decision soon. But, my heart goes that news should be there also," he told PTI.
The previous UPA government, while approving 'Policy Guidelines for Phase-III expansion of FM radio, had approved carriage of news bulletins on private radio but said the source should be only All India Radio.
The I&B Minister disagrees with the logic that FM radio should not be allowed to carry news.
Asked why news is banned on private FM radio when private TV channels are free to telecast news, he replied, "There are so many questions like this."
Asked about the proposal for expansion of FM phase-III radio channels, Javadekar said the auction process is on and the auctioneer would be decided soon.
The I&B ministry is planning to get over 200 more cities covered by private FM channels under the phase-III expansion for which over 800 FM channels will be auctioned across cities.
The government would work to establish 1000 Community Radio stations and encourage those who want to work in this field.