Japan extends Rs. 17.4 b for digitisation of terrestrial TV broadcasting project

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 00:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government of Japan has extended a loan amounting to Japanese Yen 13.7 billion (approximately Rs. 17.4 billion) to Sri Lanka towards the digitisation of the terrestrial television broadcasting project ‘Ru-Sankya’. Consequent to the Government’s decision to adopt the Japanese system for digital terrestrial television broadcasting in Sri Lanka in 2014, the project is expected to develop information communication infrastructure. The Japanese digital TV broadcasting system, known as Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting – Terrestrial (ISDB-T), is the international standard recognised by international organisations and it features three main characteristics, namely, multifunctional data-casting, usage of mobile TV (one-seg), and disaster prevention including emergency warning broadcasting system. ISDB-T has been adopted by 17 countries including Brazil and Philippines benefitting more than 600 million people. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan will give maximum cooperation in institutional and technical aspects for a smooth transition of digital terrestrial television broadcasting by ISDB-T in Sri Lanka. The terms of this yen loan are highly concessionary coupled with very low interest rates and a 30-year repayment period including a further 10-year grace period. The loan is administrated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Government of Japan has extended yen loans amounting to a total of 965.3 billion yen to Sri Lanka since 1976. Japan hopes that this project would further strengthen the existing bilateral relationships and contribute significantly to enhance the social and economic development in Sri Lanka. The signing of the exchange of notes for the yen loan took place on 7 September at the Presidential Secretariat between Ambassador of Japan Nobuhito Hobo on behalf of the Government of Japan and Minister for Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella on behalf of the Government in the presence of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.