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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Prasar Bharati expects govt nod on recruitment in a month

Prasar Bharati hopes that the government will give final approval to fill up its vacant posts within a month, said an official at Prasar Bharati. The state-owned autonomous broadcaster currently has 14,222 vacant positions across the country. The group of ministers has recommended that 3,452 critical positions can be filled up initially, said the official. The matter is expected to be discussed and given clearance within a month, the official added.

Prasar Bharati hopes that recruitment would be completed within the next three months, said the official. The recruitment process would be handled by Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board and Union Public Service Commission, informed the official. “Prasar Bharati need fresh young people with enthusiasm,” he pointed out.

Prasar Bharati has 48,022 sanctioned positions across its two wings -- Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR). Currently 33,800 people are working. There are 8,469 vacancies at AIR and 5,753 posts with Doordarshan are lying vacant. Last Friday, the Cabinet had approved the financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati. The government has waived debt of Rs 1,349.54 crore of Prasar Bharati.

The state-owned broadcaster has also been asked to take care of its operational costs and software expenses, but the government will continue to provide the wages and augmentation costs. Prasar Bharati’s current annual earnings were about Rs 1,300-1,500 crore and the operational cost estimated at Rs 1,500 crore. If the downtrend can be stopped, sustainability would not be an issue, said the official.


 Source: Business Standard

Saturday, September 15, 2012

GRANT-IN-AID FOR NON-PLAN EXPENDITURE OF PRASAR B HARATI



The government on Friday gave its approval to financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati, whereby the public broadcaster will from this year have to ensure its operating expenses other than salaries are met from revenue earnings. The government will meet all the expenses of Prasar Bharati towards salary and salary-related expenses from its non-plan account for five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17. These measures were a part of the proposal of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry on financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati. The proposal was based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Prasar Bharati constituted under the chairmanship of the Home Minister, to examine various issues pertaining to the functioning of Prasar Bharati. The recommendations were given over a year earlier. The government will waive accumulated interest on loan-in-perpetuity, interest on capital loan and penal interest thereon. Loan-in-perpetuity and capital loans provided to Prasar Bharati will be converted into grants-in-aid. From now on, any plan capital support by the government to Prasar Bharati will be in the form of grants-in-aid and not in the form of loans.

The government has also agreed to waive accumulated arrears pertaining to spectrum charges up to 31 March 2011 amounting to Rs 13.49 billion. The property and assets will be transferred at book value to Prasar Bharati according to the provisions of Section 16(a) of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990. Normal accounting principles will be followed to determine their future value. The Director General of Audit, Central Revenues (DGACR) will continue to be the nodal auditor of Prasar Bharati and will be assisted by qualified commercial audit staff for the audit of the annual accounts.

Prasar Bharati has been grappling with financial and human resource/employee issues since its inception, which has adversely affected its functioning as an autonomous organisation. In view of the problems being faced by the public broadcaster, the GoM was constituted on 7 March 2006. The GoM was again reconstituted on 21 February 2011 which considered Prasar Bharati's future revenue earning potential given its public service broadcasting mandate, and made a number of recommendations for making it financially viable and sustainable. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CABINET LIKELY TO DISCUSS THE FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING OF PRASAR BHARATI


 The proposal for financial restructuring of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is likely to come up in the Cabinet on Thursday. Among the pending issues that are likely to be resolved is recruitment to fill over 14,200 positions in Doordarshan and AIR and exploring options for revenue generation.  Based on the recommendations of the group of ministers, the I&B ministry has moved a Cabinet note to allow for recruitment to essential posts in Prasar Bharati. The GoM was of the view that recommendations of the National Productivity Council may be delinked from the proposal to fill 3,400 essential category posts in Prasar Bharati. The organization is also suffering from a revenue gap to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore annually and is heavily dependent on government financing. 

Source: Times of India