Many of the private FM Radio licensees face the prospect of forefeiting bank guarantees totalling around Rs 150 crores if the Union Cabinet meeting today decides against extending the deadline.
Sources from Information and Broadcasting Ministry said that since the private operators have not been able to put the infrastructure in place, the deadline had to be extended. After the agreement between the private players and AIR, the latter would have to make some technical changes to accommodate the private players.
Last year Government had approved the entry of the Private sector into the FM Radio broadcasting services in the country and had decided to give licenses to private operators in 40 cities.
According to Information and Broadcasting Ministry, most of the licensees had failed to start the operations as the year saw only a handful of private FM Radio channels going on the air including those at Indore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Bangalore.