Parliamentary Committee hopes Prasar Bharati will plan better in 2016-17....

Prashant Shridhar

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NEW
DELHI:
Noting
that
delay
in
Plan
Expenditure
has
affected
studio
modernization,
a
Parliamentary
Committee
has
expressed the hope that Prasar
Bharati would resort to better
planning during 2016-17 in execution
of schemes for Doordarshan and All
India Radio with available state of-
the-art technology and gainfully
utilize the allocated funds.

The Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Information
Technology which goes into I and B
issues took note of the assurance of
the pubcaster’s chief executive
officer Jawhar Sircar in this
connection.
Sircar told the Committee that the
reason for under-utilization of Plan
funds during 2015-16 as a policy
decision was to avoid expenditure on
obsolete technology such as
analogue transmission, short wave
and medium wave radio transmission
etc.
Observing there had been delay in
procurement of Camera Chains, XD
Cam, Recorders and digitisation of
transmitters, the Committee said less
utilization of funds is likely to result
in spill over of schemes to the next
year.
The Committee noted that for the
12th Five Year Plan, the Government
approved a total outlay of Rs 3,826
crore for Prasar Bharati – Rs
2,614.86 crore for Continuing
Schemes and Rs 1,211.14 crore for
New Schemes.
The outlay for Broad schemes namely
‘Broadcasting and Infrastructure
Network Development’ was Rs 3,500
crore, for ‘Content Development and
Dissemination’ Rs 186 crore and for
‘Special Project’ Rs 140 crore.
In addition, a separate outlay was
being provided for ‘Kisan Channel’ –
Rs 26 crore in 2014-15, Rs 45 crore
in 2015-16 and Rs 60 crore for the
year 2016-17.
For the Annual Plan 2016-17, the
total outlay is Rs 450 crore which
includes Rs 60 crore for the Kisan
Channel and Rs 390 crore for
Schemes ‘Broadcasting Infrastructure
Network Development’ and ‘Special
Projects’.
The Committee was told that there
had been reduction in funds at the
Revised Estimates stage as
compared to the Broadcast Estimates
given in 2015-16 for certain schemes
as these were not expected to be
executed by the Prasar Bharati during
the remaining period of that
financial year. These pertained to
Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
transmitters, Direct to Home (DTH),
Set Top Boxes (STBs), Digital
Satellite News Gathering Vehicles
(DSNGs) etc., in the case of DD. In
the case of AIR, the requirement of
funds was reduced, broadly because
various schemes of AIR were
reviewed in 2013-14 and 2014-15,
and those found as having negative
cost benefits were ordered to be
ceased or tapered off.
The Committee noted that the
Ministry had released Rs 453.77
crore to Prasar Bharati during the
year 2015-16 and this amount was
construed as expenditure by the
ministry. However, Prasar Bharati
said out of this, an amount of Rs
246.42 crore had been actually
booked as expenditure by them
which includes Rs 220.17 crore on
Plan Capital in AIR and DD and Rs
26.25 crore for Content Development
and Dissemination for DD Kisan.
 
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