The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has notified that the deadline for signing of Migration GOPA by FM Phase II operators has been extended to March 31, 2015
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 3, 2014
In a two-line notification dated July 1, 2014, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has said that the deadline for signing of Migration GOPA by FM Phase II operators has been extended to March 31, 2015. The existing FM players are disappointed by this unexpected decision.
Grant of Permission Agreement (GOPA) is what all new and existing players need to sign to bid for Phase III or for Phase II players to migrate to Phase III. Phase III policy was cleared three years ago by Parliament and the GOPA deadline keeps getting pushed. According to industry players, Phase III cannot be activated without allowing FM players to sign GOPA.
Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD, Radio One, said, “The industry is severely disappointed as we were promised early action by the Government. The Government must announce the acceptance of Trai formula within July, otherwise fund raising for Phase III will be seriously hampered. If Phase II players are worried about current business extension, how will they even think of Phase III expansion?”
Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM, commented, “My initial reaction is one of disappointment over the date getting delayed to March 2015. In our various interactions with the Ministry officials we have always emphasised the fact that we are willing to sign the Migration GOPA at the earliest and we were hoping that the MIB would take cognizance of the same. Having said that, we are glad that the Government is moving forward on the Phase III process and we hope it would be completed soon and the Migration GOPA also signed at the earliest.”
Narayanan added, “In any case, as mentioned by the MIB and TRAI, the entire process has to be completed by 31st March since there are some 21 stations whose licences come to an end on that date and they would need to migrate before that."