Irregularities persist in DD: CAG to I&B ministry

NEW DELHI: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said that despite repeated pointing out, lapses have continued in India's pubcaster Doordarshan for the past six years, which has resulted into net financial losses to the tune of Rs 930 million.

"As audit is conducted on a test check basis of which only more serious irregularities are reported, the net financial effect for DD could be much higher," the CAG's Vijayendra N Kaul has written in a letter to information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The CAG letter, a copy of which is available with, points out that the financial losses have resulted due to sponsors being allotted extra free commercial time (FCT), non-recovery of dues from advertising agencies by various regional DD centers and non-adherence to the minimum guarantee terms in some cases.

As many as 16 programmes where DD gave undue benefit of Rs 490 million to sponsors were highlighted in the audit reports of 1997 to 2003. "In some cases, FCT rates were fixed without reference to the rate card, while in others excess FCT was allowed for odd-duration programmes by not calculating FCT from the rate card at a pro rata basis," the letter informs the I&B minister.

Contacted by, KS Sarma, CEO of Prasar Bharati, which oversees the functioning of DD, said he was not aware of the CAG letter to I&B ministry and so would not be able to offer any comments.

Some of the programmes that benefited from arbitrary fixation of sponsorship fee and FCT , as pointed out by CAG's latest missive to the I&B ministry, include Good Morning India (from April to September, 1996), Ankhon Dekhi, Dopahar Ankhon Dekhi, Captain House, election-related programmes during January-March period in 1998 and Param Vir Chakra.

For instance, in Good Morning India's case, concessional sponsorship fee at 50 per cent of the prescribed fee was allowed, while 600 seconds of FCT was allowed in place of the prescribed 300 seconds.

Even the country's No. 1 news channel , Aaj Tak, in its older avatar as a news and current affairs programme on DD is a beneficiary of inappropriate application of rate card for programmes during odd-duration, CAG has reiterated. Loss to DD: Rs. 53.79 million.

Further, the CAG letter, dated 22 March, 2004, has stated that DD's regional centers like Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai had been pointed out for comments during audit reports of 1998 to 2002 where the financial loss due to non-recovery of dues is to the tune of Rs 170 million.

Thiruvananthapuram center of DD leads the pack in non-recovery of dues (Rs 57.7 million) followed by Kolkata (Rs 35 million) and Mumbai (Rs 32.9 million). The CAG has said that it had been pointed out that DD centers were not exercising penal provisions --- demanding penal interests, cancellation of accreditation of ad agencies --- against defaulters.

Non-adherence of minimum guarantee terms resulted in loss of Rs 270 million during audit reports of 1998 to 2002. Some of the programmes and events that benefited from DD's lapse, CAG has said, include Superhit Muqabla (Sept 1995 to Oct 1996) and sports events like cricket and tennis.

It may be pointed out here by that some of the cases referred to by CAG as resulting in losses to DD are contentious ones where the private company concerned has contested DD's claims leading to legal proceedings.

Latest Reads
India Today Group donates generously to the kerala flood victims

In the face of a massive national calamity, India Today Group reaches out to Kerala victims as they are reeling from the devastating impact of the century's worst deluge. 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Hero ISL gets NIVIA as ball partner for 3 years

NIVIA, the Indian sports manufacturing brand has signed a three-year agreement with Football Sports Development to be the official ball partner of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) starting season 2018/19.

Television TV Channels Sports
Times Network announces 'India For Kerala', a fund-raising campaign for flood-stricken Kerala

Times Network, part of India’s largest media conglomerate, The Times Group, has initiated a fund-raiser campaign, ‘India For Kerala’, to create awareness and to raise funds for the relief efforts in Kerala. Through this initiative, Times Network strives to give the cause a unified voice and...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
MNX challenges legacy players in the movies category

The rise in India’s urban educated millennials has also led to the spurt of channels in the English entertainment and movies genre. Over the last few years, several new additions have made their way including MN+, &Prive and Sony Le Plex.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Most watched Hindi GECs in 2018

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GEC Zee Anmol was the most watched Hindi GEC during the first 31 weeks of 2018 according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) weekly data for weeks 1 to 31 of 2018 (Saturday 29 December 2017 to Friday 3 August 2018) of the...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Sony India unveils #KoiKasarNahi campaign for Asian Games

The 18th edition of Asian games is all set to go on floors from 18 August to 2 September 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. Meanwhile Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) today announced its marketing and digital initiatives for the pan-Asian multi-sport event. With India being...

Television TV Channels Sports
Sun TV leads the Tamil market in BARC week 32

Zee Bangla continued to maintain its first position in BARC’s week 32 data. The Bhojpuri market, however, had a new entrant - Oscar Movies Bhojpuri that secured fifth position, whereas in the Kannada segment, Colors Kannada retained its leadership position. Asianet from Star TV continued took the...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Zee Anmol back on top of Hindi channels in across genres

After a short hiatus, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GEC Zee Anmol was back at number two rank in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly list of the top 10 channels across genres (across genres list) in week 32 of 2018 (Saturday, 4 August 2018...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star India mobilises disaster relief for Kerala; Star network rallies public support #AllForKerala

As Kerala struggles with the devastation of massive floods, Star India, and its employees have stepped up to donate to and mobilise disaster relief for the flood-ravaged state #AllForKerala

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories