State-run public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Sunday notified deferred carriage fee payment options for channels airing on DD Free Dish after considering the representations sympathetically and has offered two different options for the deferred payment.
The public broadcaster drew the attention to its earlier email dated 7th April and 13th April wherein it had offered an extension of time for payment of installments up to 27th June 2020 subject to furnishing of a Bank guarantee and payment of reduced interest at 5.7% on the delayed payment. The broadcaster received subsequent various representations with a syndicate of free to air broadcasters writing to the government to step in. Recently. Swami Films Entertainment moved TDSAT against Prasar Bharati on deferred carriage fee payment. Prasar Bharati has now offered substantial relief for a period of three months.
The channel can furnish separate bank guarantees having validity of four months each towards the amount of each installment plus interest at 5.7% per annum for 3 months to avail deferment from the requirement of paying the carriage fee in advance monthly installment, up to three months. The channel would also have to undertake to pay the installment amount with interest after availing the deferment for three months.
The deferment is applicable for three months i.e May, June, and July 2020 which are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th installments payable on 27th April 2020, 27th May 2020, and 27th June 2020 respectively.
Channels that want to avail the benefit this month need to furnish bank guarantees by 22nd May whereas if they have already paid the installment for May, then they can avail the benefit for the months of June, July, and August 2020. To avail the benefits for the months of June and July, they have to furnish bank guarantees by 27th May and 27th June 2020.
The deferred payments will become payable on 27th July 2020, 27th August 2020 and 27th September 2020 respectively, along with instalments for August, September and October 2020.
If the channels are not able to furnish a bank guarantee, they can instead pay 67% of the carriage fee installments for three months with the balance 33% deferred payment of monthly installments becoming payable after availing the time relaxation of three months for each installment. The deferment is appliable for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th installments for months of May, June, and July that are payable on 27th April 2020, 27th May 2020, and 27th June 2020 respectively.
The balance 33% would be payable at an interest of 5.7% per annum for a period of three months. The balance 33% would become payable on 27th July 2020, 27th August 2020, and 27th September 2020 along with the payment of the regular instalment for the months of July, August and September 2020.
Similar to option 1, if the channel has already paid the installment for May then it can avail the benefit for June, July, and August. If any channel doesn’t wish to seek both relaxations, then it will be offered an incentive of 0.5% on the total amount payable by them which would be adjusted from the 10th installment. For the three months, such channels can pay the installments on a fortnightly basis.
Prasar Bharati is also offering an option for channels that have been removed from the platform or gone and have opted not to the come to the platform by availing the relaxations subject to their paying the installment for April by 22nd May 2020.
Prasar Bharati will disconnect such channels that fail to send in the receipt of bank guarantees or payments without any notice.