A cos wanting to start a news channel will have to have a minimum net worth of Rs 3cr.
Television companies beaming channels in India will have to conform to certain minimum net worth criteria.
This marks a clear shift from the present government policy that does not put any condition on Indian companies wanting to beam television channels in the country.
According to information and broadcasting ministry officials, the government is likely to come out with a notification in this regard.
The norms propose different net worth requirements for news and non-news television channels.
Under the proposed norms, for the first non-news channel, the company that runs and owns it will have to have a minimum net worth of Rs 1.50 crore. For every additional channel, the company will have to add an additional net worth of Rs 1 crore.
However, for news channels, the condition is more stringent. A company wanting to start a news channel will have to have a minimum net worth of Rs 3 crore for the first news channel and Rs 2 crore for every additional news channel.
This condition will also be applicable to existing broadcasting companies.
According to information and broadcasting ministry officials, this move is part of the strategy to bring some order to the mushrooming television channel business.
“Such a requirement is needed to regulate the television broadcasting industry. It not only brings order to the sector, but will also allow the government to have an account of the channels operating in the country,” an information and broadcasting ministry official said.
According to the official, the move becomes imperative as the government is looking at regulating beaming of international channels into India.
The government is also likely to insist that television channels beaming into India have a registered office in the country.
The broadcasting industry estimates there are about 200 channels distributed in the country by cable operators and another 200 channels can be accessed from India.
In addition, companies wanting to set up teleports, to uplink channels from India, will also have to conform to the net worth criteria.
For example, a company wanting to set up a teleport with the capacity to uplink one channel from India will have to have a minimum net worth of Rs 1 crore.