Give more funds to DAVP for empowering people: Parliamentary Committee

NEW DELHI: Noting that the then Information and Broadcasting ministry secretary had admitted that the budget availability for publicity purpose was not adequate enough, a Parliamentary Committee has recommended that the budgetary allocation for the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity should be enhanced.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology which goes into issues relating to I and B said this will help DAVP to broadbase and increase the outreach of the multimedia campaigns being carried out by it through various means such as television, print, social media or other outreach programmes for the welfare of the society.

Noting that a reduced allocation of Rs 125.60 crore had been made during 2016-17 at the Budget Estimate stage for the ‘People’s Empowerment through Development Communication’ (PEDC) scheme,  the Committee felt this amount was‘grossly inadequate to meet the requirement under this important scheme. As a matter of fact, the allocation was about 69 percent of the total outlay for the information sector. 

The Committee was told that during the first year of 12th the Plan 2012-13, utilization of funds for PEDC was to the tune of Rs.103.18 crore which was increased to Rs.189 crore in the year 2013-14 and Rs.155.2 crore in the year 2014-15. For the year 2015-16, an allocation of Rs.151 crore had been made at the Revised Estimate stage out of which the actual expenditure as on 30 March 2016 had been Rs.146.34 crore.

The Committee was given to understand that the line ministries and departments carry their ministry-specific campaign for which they have their own budgetary allocations. However, the DAVP’s budget allocation obtained through the Development Communication and Information Dissemination (DCID) programme of I&B ministry is used to run integrated campaigns on all the flagship programmes of the government.

The Committee observed that the government had been launching several initiatives and direct benefit schemes for the welfare of the people, and information regarding these schemes have to be disseminated to the people and the target groups.

To achieve this objective, the scheme of PEDC had an important role to play. In order to facilitate integrated campaign on various flagship programmes of the government, the DAVP needs a much larger budget with matching fund allocation which requires more allocation for the information sector.

The DAVP is the nodal multimedia advertising agency of the government catering to the communication needs of the ministries/departments, autonomous bodies and PSUs. In order to strengthen the publicity of various peoples’ welfare and participation oriented programmes in a holistic manner, and to enable efficient discharge of its services, the DAVP had sought and obtained increased funding for two of its Plan Schemes – PEDC implemented through the DCID scheme and ‘Media Infrastructure Development Programme’.

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