Community radio stations can now on relay AIR news and run advertisements of up to seven minutes, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also said such stations can also run sponsored programmes of the Centre and the state governments.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the financial grant for equipment has been increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of the total cost with a ceiling of Rs 7.5 lakh. For the North East, the grant has been increased to 90 per cent.

As of now, there are 206 community radio stations in the country.