Ramdev's aide holds 99.9% stake in Aastha channel

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MUMBAI: Baba Ramdev’s Rs 11 billion business empire includes a popular spiritual television channel, earlier held by a listed entity CMM Broadcasting Network.

The purchase of the Aastha channel was made over three years back by Vedic Broadcasting Ltd. Ramdev’s aide Acharya Balkrishna holds 99.9 per cent stake in Vedic Broadcasting. The remaining shares are held by Muktanandji, another Ramdev aide.

Indiantelevision.com had earlier reported that CMM, which owned and operated spiritual channels Aastha and Aastha International, had sold its domestic channel business to Vedic Broadcasting for around Rs 100 million.

Aastha channel earned a net profit of Rs 23 million on a revenue of Rs 192.6 million in 2009-10, according to data sourced from the Registrar of Companies by The Times of India. Revenue from advertising, telecast fees and others stood at Rs 185 million, while expenditure on programming, telecast and operations was at Rs 96 million.

Ramdev’s business empire, ranging from ayurveda products to a TV channel, has come under the government scanner.
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