ISLAMABAD, July 24: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday awarded 46 FM radio licences in various cities and districts.

The 46 licences were given during two-day bidding which were addition to 116 FM radio licenses the Pemra had issued earlier in first five phases.

The highest bid amount of Rs370.6 million was offered by Printek and Athena Entertainment for setting up FM radio station at Karachi, followed by Rs333.8 million offered by Northern Media and Athena for one licence each at Lahore.

The successful companies would be required to start operation within one year after the award of licenses.

Addressing the bidding ceremony, executive member Pemra, Ahmad Mahmood Zahid said since its inception in 2002, Pemra has taken all out efforts to fill the national landscape with all modern forms of electronic media.

He said out of 116 FM radio licenses issued earlier, 93 have successfully gone on-air while the rest would soon enter the fray.

He credited this boom in electronic media to the government's commitment to freed media and to Pemra for raising the pubic awareness.

Complete freedom and facilitation offered by the present government has served as a catalyst for the unprecedented development of electronic media, he added.

He said during the first 100 days of present government, licenses for 16 satellite TV channels, 10 FM radio and 232 cable TV have been given apart from permission for 2 Landing Rights.

Mr Zahid urged the successful bidders to ensure the healthy flow of information-entertainment and educate the public in conformity with the national interest.

He extended his deepest gratitude and felicitation to the successful bidders for carrying forward the Pemra’s vision and urged the earliest expedition of project.

Senior officials of Pemra, representatives of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Pakistan Telecom Authority and Frequency Allocation Board were also present on the occasion.

The bidding was held to award licenses for Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Murree, Sialkot, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Gujranwala, Jhelum, Larkana, Hairpur, Khanewal, Okara, Sheikhupura, Bahawalpur, Nankana sahib, Vehari, Toba Tek Singh, Noshehra, Kohat, Rahim Yar Khan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Hafizabad, Kasur, Muzaffargarh, Ziarat, Jhang, Jafarabad, Sibi, Nasirabad, Karak, Batagraqm, Tank, Buner, Panjgur, Malakand, Shangla, Chaghi and Kalat.—APP

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