The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Authority (TDSAT) has ordered private FM radio players, in eight cases, to pay up their licence fees for four months. The fee is to be paid for a period from April 29 to August 29, 2004, to the information and broadcasting ministry. Although the deadline for paying up their annual licence fees expired on April 29, none of the FM players coughed up a penny. However, the order makes it binding on the operators to pay up one-third of the annual fee immediately. August 1 has been fixed as the next date for hearing.
In all, FM players owed the government a total of over Rs 100 crore as annual licence fee. Government could get around Rs 33 crore from all private FM operators, as licence fees for four months. The TDSAT order applies to companies including Entertainment Network India, Radio Today and Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd across metros.