AMARC urges spectrum fee roll back
As a global network committed to media democratization and strengthening the voices of the excluded through community radio, AMARC supports the Community Radio Forum of India's (CRF) stand that the hike will "choke the rights of communities to voice." Further, it goes against the spirit of the citizens' fundamental right to speech and expression as enshrined in Article 19 Clause 1 Sub Clause A of the Indian Constitution.
As a result of the hike, "genuine and grassroots communities will be excluded . . . and community radio will be a mockery of the stated policy objectives of the government of India."
A recent rapid assessment survey conducted by the AMARC International Secretariat indicates that the movement towards reducing spectrum fees is gaining ground across the world. Countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, South Africa, and Uruguay do not levy a spectrum fee, while in countries like Bangladesh, Colombia, and Nicaragua the amount ranges from USD 150 to USD 480 to USD 50-100 (raise the fee over 1000 watts) respectively.
AMARC urges the Government of India to urgently enable an inclusive and truly participative community climate in India by taking steps that will revoke the spectrum fee hike as well as end other restrictions like the ban on news.