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Wednesday, 25 March 2020 10:38

‘No bailout package for PB’: I&B Minister

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Clarifying the doubt, the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the government has no plan for any bailout package for public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. He told the LOk Sabha that the government provides grants-in-aid to Prasar Bharati.

He said: “The Ministry has been providing financial support in the form of Grants-in-Aid to Prasar Bharati to meet the requirement of salary for Government employees on deemed deputation and for implementation of Central Sector Scheme, namely, Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND). No bailout package is contemplated for Prasar Bharati by Government of India.”

The Minister added that the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990 confers autonomy on Akashvani and Doordarshan so that they may function in a fair, objective and creative manner.

He added that Prasar Bharati is managing its operational expenses from Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR) generated by it from the sale of airtime on Radio and TV, sharing of TV/Radio towers and carriage fees from Private Broadcasters for carrying their Channel over DD’s DTH Platform.

Javadekar said: “Increase in competition in the radio and television sector in recent years and the development of new media platforms have impacted revenue earnings of Prasar Bharati. However, Prasar Bharati is hopeful of mobilizing adequate funds to become self-sufficient in the future.”

As reported earlier, the Standing Committee on Information Technology has criticised the government for repeated reduction of funds for the ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) at the revised estimate (RE) stage.

The Minister had earlier informed the Lok Sabha that public broadcaster Doordarshan’s ad revenue has dropped to Rs 553.55 crore in FY19 compared to Rs 607.08 crore in FY18. In FY17, the ad revenue stood at Rs 563.15 crore. The other revenue has increased to Rs 412.95 crore from Rs 277.31 crore in FY18 and Rs 265.32 crore in FY17. Total revenue has to Rs 966.50 crore in FY19 up from Rs 884.39 crore in FY18 and Rs 828.47 crore in FY17.

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