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MDA refunds $82m in radio and TV licence fees ahead of target

THE Media Development Authority (MDA) said it has refunded $82 million worth of 2011 Radio and TV (RTV) licence fees. -myp

Wed, Apr 27, 2011
my paper

BY GWENDOLYN NG

THE Media Development Authority (MDA) said it has refunded $82 million worth of 2011 Radio and TV (RTV) licence fees, ahead of its April 30 target.

In a press release yesterday, MDA said it mailed 1.1 million cheques in a nationwide exercise between March 22 and Monday to licensees who had paid the 2011 RTV licence fees in advance.

The cheques were mailed in batches to households, hotels, offices, food-and-beverage outlets and retail outlets that have TV sets.

To date, 70 per cent of licensees have encashed their cheques.

The abolition of the radio and TV licences was announced by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in February during his Budget speech.

Explaining the move, he said the fees were irrelevant as TV is no longer considered a luxury and programmes can be watched on the Internet.

The 48-year-old radio and TV licence scheme saw about $120 million collected yearly to fund 3,000 hours of public-service content on free-to-air TV channels. The programmes will now be paid for by the Government.


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