Inflation, 6th Pay Commission taking toll on Prasar Bharati: Rathore

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati earned Rs 604 crore in revenue as against expenditure of Rs 1187.44 crore up to October this year for the financial year 2015-16.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Parliament today that the revenue in 2014-15 was Rs 1124.43 crore as against expenditure of Rs 2132.98 crore, in 2013-14 it was Rs 1295.96 crore against expenditure of Rs 1945.84 crore and revenue in 2012-13 was Rs 1298.16 crore as against expenditure of Rs 1883.19 crore.

The Minister added that Prasar Bharati had said that with inflation and rising costs of TV channels, Doordarshan has also experienced gradual increase in operational costs. In addition, the implementation of various recommendations of 6th Central Pay Commission has led to increase in administrative and staff related expenses.

Since Prasar Bharati is a public service broadcaster, its functioning cannot be guided purely by commercial motives.

However, the Minister said Prasar Bharati is adopting an aggressive marketing strategy to increase the revenue receipts besides putting into best use its spare infrastructure available with the field formations across the country.

The Ministry provides financial support to Prasar Bharati under Plan and Non Plan heads, in the form of grants-in-aid. In the current financial year (2015-16), an amount of Rs 605.03 crore has been allocated to Prasar Bharati under Plan Head and Rs 2342.12 crore has been allocated under Non-Plan.

The Ministry has also allocated (through its Office Memorandum dated 27 August, 2015) a sum of Rs 11,116.79 crore [Rs 11,116.76 crore under Revenue Section and Rs 0.02 crore as Token Supplementary and Rs 0.01 crore as Token Supplementary under Capital Section as first batch of supplementary grant 2015-16] to Prasar Bharati subsequent to the approval of Ministry of Finance for the following:

(i) Conversion of a sum of Rs 5684.34 crore towards Loan-in-Perpetuity and Capital Loan into Grants-in-Aid for the period 1 April, 2000 to 31 March, 2010.

(ii) Waiver of an amount of Rs 4082.88 crore towards interest on Loan-in-Perpetuity, interest on Capital Loan and Penal Interests for the period 1 April, 2000 to 31 March, 2010.

(iii) Waiver of a sum of Rs 1349.54 crore towards accumulated arrears of Space Segment and Spectrum Charges accrued to Prasar Bharati up to 31 March, 2011.

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