Singapore – The Media Development Authority of Singapore has begun refunding the 2011 RTV licence fees collected. Starting today, some 1.1 million cheques will be mailed in batches to households, non-residential TV licensees, vehicle owners, and dealers engaged in the import or sale of any broadcasting apparatus. The move follows the Government’s announcement in February this year that the RTV licence would be abolished. At the time, finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the fees were “losing their relevance”. “Today, most households – including 99 per cent of lower-income households – own TVs. Second, with increasing media convergence, Singaporeans can now receive broadcast content over the Internet and mobile devices,” he said. The fee, which has been collected since 1963 costs each household with a television, $110 annually. For non-residential licensees, such as hotels and retail outlets, $110 per television set per year and for television dealers $330. Car owners with radios must also pay an annual fee of $27 per vehicle. The final batch of refund cheques is expected to be sent by April 30.
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