Against the interests of the Nepalis, Information Minister Java Prakash Gupta has allowed the Times of India to get into FM broadcasting through Kantipur FM. According to highly placed sources, on 10 August the minister decided to licence Kantipur to run a powerful station. Reliable sources say that the Times of India group will broadcast its programmes using this infrastructure.
When Radha Krishna Mainali was communication minister, the TOI group had wanted to broadcast its programmes through Radio Nepal. However, the request was rejected because the government deemed that it would be against the interests of Nepal and Nepalis. The present minister who is said favour both Kantipur and TOI has fulfilled the wishes of the two organisations at one go. Before the permission was granted, Minister Gupta, who was on a private visit to India, is said to have visited the TOI offices, according to sources.
The important thing is that Minister Gupta has not licensed any of the 21 radios that NGOs, DDCs, VDCs and others have wanted to operate. The promoters have made arrangements for all the infrastructure needed for the stations but have time and again been forced to return from the ministry without a licence.
It took minister Gupta just five minutes to decide on Kantipur\'s application submitted only about a week ago.