Regulators

Prasar Bharati targets Rs 7,500 million in revenues

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Information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj, responding to recent criticism directed at Prasar Bharati, promised yesterday in parliament that the public broadcaster had taken steps to increase revenues, adding it had set itself a revenue goal of Rs7,500 million.

Henceforth, Prasar Bharati would adopt a "proactive and market friendly approach towards producers, advertisers, ad agencies and sponsoring bodies," Swaraj said.

Swaraj also stated that regional centres would get "functional autonomy'' regarding commercial matters. Swaraj added that an in-house marketing wing would be set up in Mumbai which would have the responsibility of ensuring programmes were marketed effectively. Swaraj said Prasar Bharati had set a target of RS 7,500 million in revenue collections for 2001-02.

The standing committee on information technology, a body constituted by parliament, had in a report recently slammed Prasar Bharati for the decline in the number of in-house programmes, lack of marketing machinery and poor reception quality of Doordarshan.

The report said: ''Private channels have set up an effective marketing machinery in terms of infrastructure and manpower and they are able to attract business, which otherwise should have come to Prasar Bharati.''

The report advised Prasar Bharati that it should modify and strengthen its marketing system in an organised and systematic way without further loss of time.

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