There is no proposal to re-impose licence fee on television and
radio sets, minister of information and broadcasting Ravi Shankar
Prasad told fellow parliamentarian D N R Wadiyar in Lok Sabha (India's
Lower House of Parliament) today.
To another question by Bhupendrasinh Solanki, the minister said
that Prasar Bharati has no proposal to set up a channel related
to spiritual programmes. As had been reported earlier by indiantelevision.com,
though Prasar Bharati Corporation had petitioned the government
to re-introduce the licence fee regime, in a bid to augment the
Corporation's revenue, the logistics did not favour such a move.
Moreover, the electronics goods manufacturers of the country were
opposed to such a move as a licence fee levied at the point of sale
of TV and radio sets would have given rise to excise problems as
also raising the total cost of a TV or a radio set.
In a process that was stopped a few decades ago, the Indian government
used to collect license fee for every radio set in the country through
a mechanism wherein owners of radio sets deposited a designated
amount in the nearest post office.
The whole process was closed down as it dawned on the policy makers
that the cost of collection of the licence fee was much more than
the revenue being generated through the fee, apart from other problems.