DD begins arbitration proceedings to recover Rs 2.93 bn in arrears from agencies


5 Aug 2011
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Doordarshan has begun arbitration proceedings against 84 agencies to get back a sum of Rs 2.93 billion.

These 84 include agencies which handled the accounts of Sagar Arts (Rs 499.43 million), Sri Adhikari Brothers (Rs 298.98 million), Cinevista (Rs 113.70 million) and among others. Arbitration proceedings are due to begin soon against another eight agencies.

Also, a total of 235 government agencies owed a sum of Rs 388.04 million as outstanding dues to Doordarshan on 31 July this year.

The pubcaster has received reports from only 17 kendras about the progress in arbitration or court proceedings, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting CM Jatua said in Parliament earlier this week.

Outstanding dues against 65 advertising agencies as on 31 July amounted to Rs 605.90 million.

Interestingly, DD has given up as old or dead dues amounting to Rs 496.70 million from 174 agencies or production houses as on 31 March this year.

Faced with mammoth arrears, Prasar Bharati had held Open House sittings in Mumbai last month to go in for out-of-court settlement of all arbitration cases to recover dues pending with Doordarshan for almost a decade.

The Board sat from 14 to 16 July to take up all arbitration cases under a single roof in a one-time settlement effort. The proceedings were conducted in public.

The Board decided on this step under advice from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which felt that arbitration cases lead to secondary problems. Earlier, DD had resorted to blacklisting production houses, but this only reduced the content pool coming to the channel.
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