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Pub-caster(AIR & Doordarshan) hopes new funding pattern will help growth

Bapun Raz

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Prasar Bharati incurred an expenditure of Rs 11.3337 billion up to December 2010 towards salary and salary related establishment expenses.

This is against the direct budgetary support of Rs 14.1235 billion from the Government under the non-plan revenue.

Prasar Bharati sources said that its current bill for the wages of 39,000 employees was approximately Rs 16 billion, but the pubcaster earned around Rs 10 billion. It also gets another Rs 15 billion from the government as annual grant, of which Rs 10 billion goes towards salaries.
The sources said only appointments to the top posts are cleared by the Group of Ministers.

A Parliamentary Committee had last year noted that there was a shortage of 44.8 per cent of the sanctioned strength in Group ‘A’ and about 40 per cent in Group ‘B’ in Doordarshan, and 58.8 per cent of the posts in Group ‘A’ were vacant in All India Radio. As many as 4629 posts in Doordarshan and 6433 posts in All India Radio remain unfilled.

It noticed that recruitment to the post of Programme Executives was last made 18 years earlier in 1991. The case is no different in various other categories of AIR and Doordarshan.

It had noted that there were 105 SC/ST vacancies in Doordarshan and 289 in AIR, which was a ‘matter of serious concern and anxiety’ and should be rectified.

Sources said it was clear that filling of these posts will mean further increase in salary-related expenses by the pubcaster.

The sources expressed the hope that the new funding plan worked out by the Board of Prasar Bharati will help the pubcaster.

The Board had proposed that Government may meet 100 per cent to the expenses on salaries and allowances of the employees and 50 per cent of other operating expenses of Prasar Bharati.

On its part, Prasar Bharati would meet 50 per cent of the remaining operating expenses and 100 per cent of the expenses for programming related work. This is being forwarded to Government for placement before the Group of Ministers for a final decision.

Indiantelevision.com