Sunday, 19 November 2017
NCA slashes FM stations’ fines by 50%

NCA slashes FM stations’ fines by 50%

The Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority (NCA) have slashed fines imposed on sanctioned commercial FM broadcasting stations by 50 per cent.
The stations have been given additional 30 days to pay the slashed fines.

A statement from the NCA stated that defaulting commercial FM broadcasting stations that were fined by the NCA have also had their fines reduced by 50%.
It added
“They have 30 days from 20th October, 2017, to pay the 50% reduced penalties or have their authorisations revoked.
“It is the expectation of the ministry and the authority that all defaulting FM stations will take advantage of this opportunity and ensure compliance within the shortest possible time,” the NCA added.
For the 34 sanctioned stations that had their licenses revoked because their authorisations had expired, they have been given 10 days to petition the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
“The stations in this category have the option to petition Minister for Communications for a review of the revocation of their Authorisation within 10 days from Friday, 20th October, 2017. After receipt of their petitions, they will be reviewed on a case by case basis, following which the Minister will determine the applicable sanctions”, it added.
The Minister of Communication has already revealed that the NCA has received a number of petitions from both commercial and community radio stations over the sanctions.
But according to her, the fact that the NCA has received the petitions does not mean the affected stations would be reinstated, but their request would be reviewed on case by case basis.
Another category of stations, the community and institutional FM broadcasting stations, have had the pecuniary penalties which were imposed on them waived.
“In addition to this, these stations are to regularise their operations; pay their outstanding indebtedness (Annual Regulatory and Spectrum fees) and submit renewal applications and all outstanding documentation as applicable within 30 days from the date of this release, Friday, 20th October, 2017. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of their authorisations,” the statement added.
Breakdown of 97 fined stations
According to the NCA, 11 radio stations have been requested to pay application fees for renewal of authorisation, and also pay a fine in accordance with the NCA’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties for failure to apply three months before the expiry of authorization within 30 days.
Two radio stations have been asked to submit renewal application within 30 days.
Sixteen radio stations have been asked to submit renewal application, pay application fees, and pay a fine in accordance with the authority’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties within 30 days.
Twenty‐four radio stations have been asked to submit omitted documents and pay a fine in accordance with the authority’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties within 30 days.
Fifteen radio stations will have their authorisation processed after payment of fines in accordance with the authority’s gazetted Schedule of Penalties.
One radio station has been asked to settle its outstanding indebtedness before renewal of authorization is considered.
Twenty radio stations have been asked to settle their Provisional Authorisation (renewal) fees which have been invalidated due to non‐payment within 60 days – to pay interest on due amount.
Eight radio stations have been asked to pay a fine in accordance with the NCA’s gazette Schedule of Penalties before the authority conducts inspection as requested by the stations.

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