Prasar Bharati threatens legal action against defaulting producers

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati is likely to initiate legal proceedings against defaulting production houses, which owe it dues amounting to nearly Rs 1450 million.

Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma said on Wednesday that the defaulters, who have so far been issued show cause notices in vain, could have winding up proceedings initiated against them, which would be followed by litigation. Production houses which may opt for the arbitration route after that will have to contend with a strict Prasar Bharati, Sarma said.

National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) leads the defaulters list, with dues of Rs 480 million. The corporation however, recently paid up Rs 200 million of its pending dues and interest thereon. Among the 45 to 50 defaulters, 10 defaulting production houses owe the pubcaster dues of more than Rs 50 million. Among the prominent names in the list are Dheeraj Kumar's Creative Eye and Sanjay Khan's Numero Uno Productions. Several others, like Ramanand Sagar, have offered software in lieu of payment, but Sarma says software potential evaluation is difficult in monetary terms. After waiting for nearly four years, the pubcaster has now decided to go the legal way, although Sarma says he would like to maintain amicable relations with the production houses as several of them have created valuable software for DD in the past. 

Henceforth, all the defaulters would be dealt with by DD on an advance payment basis. The production houses would have to issue post dated cheques to DD and bank guarantees to ensure that they do not default on payment, he said.

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