The information and broadcasting ministry has warned FM radio stations of penalties if they violate the terms of the agreement to broadcast public interest announcements for a maximum of one hour per day.
In an advisory issued on June 6, the ministry reminded the companies with which it has signed agreements to “establish, maintain and operate FM radio broadcasting channels” that they are stipulated to broadcast public interest announcements as may be required by central or state governments “for a maximum of one hour per day” at suitable time slots “interspersed during that day”. “In case the total demand of the central government and the state government exceeds one hour per day, the concerned state government shall be eligible for announcements covering only the period remaining after meeting the demand of the central government,” the advisory adds, and asks FM channels to “strictly adhere to the aforementioned terms and conditions of permission”.
If FM stations violate “any of the terms and conditions of permission”, the advisory warns, the government “shall have the right to impose penalties”.
The ministry has previously warned FM radio channels against airing “vulgar and objectionable content”. In an advisory issued in March, it noted that “the language used by many radio jockeys is indecent, dual meaning and offensive”.