NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has urged the information
and Broadcasting ministry to take speedy steps to recover
the dues that content producers and media agencies owe to
its review of the I&B ministry, the Parliamentary Standing
Committee for Information Technology has said that it would
like to be told about the action taken against the producers
and agencies for not making timely payment.
Committee also wants to be apprised whether at any time any
of the producers or agencies has been blacklisted by the pubcaster
for not paying the outstanding dues.
While the complete data has not been compiled for 2011-12,
the figures that are available and quoted by the Committee
clearly show that content producers and agencies for Doordarshan
kendras and its national channels owe Rs 4.96 billion in the
fiscal ended 31 March 2011.
of this, Rs 3.30 billion is outstanding from producers and
Rs 1.66 billion from agencies.
concern over the huge outstanding amount, the Committee has
urged the Government to take urgent initiatives to recover
the amount from the various producers and agencies.
to I&B ministry sources, Doordarshan has given up as old
or dead dues amounting to Rs 496.70 million from 174 agencies
or production houses as on 31 March 2011.
proceedings have begun against 84 producers to get back a
sum of Rs 2.93 billion. These 84 include agencies which handled
the accounts of Sagar Arts (Rs 499.43 million), Sri Adhikari
Brothers (Rs 298.98 million) and Cinevista (Rs 113.70 million),
proceedings are due to begin soon against another eight agencies.
more up-to-date outstanding amount is stated by the Committee.
According to it, a total of 235 government agencies owed a
sum of Rs 388.04 million as outstanding dues to Doordarshan
till 31 July 2011.
dues against 65 advertising agencies as on 31 July 2011 amounts
to Rs 605.90 million.
The data is based on reports from only 17 kendras about the
progress in arbitration or court proceedings.
According to sources though Prasar Bharati had held Open House
sittings in Mumbai to go in for out-of-court settlement of
all arbitration cases to recover dues pending with Doordarshan
for almost a decade, the response had been poor.
Parliamentary Committee had been informed by the ministry
last year that Prasar Bharati and the ministry are unable
to recover the Rs 32.5 million owed to the pubcaster by the
Ministries of Railways, Agriculture and Rural Development.
its report placed in Parliament during the Budget session,
the Committee on Assurances said that I&B ministry had,
therefore, asked the Committee to drop the assurance given
by then Minister S Jaipal Reddy in August 2005 in reply to
a question that Prasar Bharati had said it would pursue the
Agriculture owed Rs 15 million, Railways had to Rs 10 million
and Rural Development Rs 7.5 million since 2003-04.
Committee during its questioning of I &B ministry officials
found that the sum was owed on account of the campaign Irada
Naye Bharat Ka carried out by the pubcaster at the instance
of the Prime Ministers Office.
The reply by the ministry to the Committee in October 2010
said that the ministry and the pubcaster had both made repeated
efforts to recover the amount from these ministries. Despite
these efforts, it is not possible to recover the amount.