The processing fee for uplinking and downlinking is Rs 50,000 per day for regional channels and Rs one lakh for national channels.
New Delhi: Soon pravachans of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Morari Bapu, Baba Ramdev and other religious leaders can be broadcast live on television channels without any financial hindrance.
Giving into long pending demand by several gurus and religious leaders, Narendra Modi government has removed uplinking and downlinking fee for devotional channels in the country while at the same time a seperate classification and categorisation for these channels has also been sought.
The Union information and broadcasting ministry’s exemption from processing fee for these channels came keeping in mind their petition that they be exempted due to their contribution to cultural and social cause of the nation.
However, a similar demand made by the sports broadcasters has not been approved and they would continue to pay the requisite fee.
Sources stated that the ministry has also sought to classify these channels into a new category. Currently, television channels are classified into news and general entertainment channels as well as national and regional ones. “However, the government has now also sought to create a new category under devotional channels,” sources added.
As per the directive these devotional channels would now not need to pay the processing fee for any live uplinking and downloading of programmes. The processing fee for uplinking and downlinking is `50,000 per day for regional channels and `one lakh for national channels.
“The contention of spiritual channel broadcasters was they were fulfilling an important social cause by telecasting religious and cultural events,” sources added.
As there is presently no classification of devotional or spiritual channels the channels monitored by Electronic Media Monitoring center under this category will be given this exemption. It is understood that a separate categorisation may later be sought rom the TRAI.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which is also the regulator for broadcasting sector in the country.