Merger of schemes under MIB lead to reduction to one-third of 11th Plan

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has brought down the number of schemes under it from 65 in the Eleventh Plan to just 21 in the 12th Plan by the year 2016-17 by merely merging together under umbrella schemes the various schemes of its different media units with similar objectives and activities.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology which goes into issues relating to I and B was informed that the ministry carried out a comprehensive rationalization and restructuring of the Plan schemes to achieve the thrust areas of the 12th Five Year Plan.

The ministry said this is expected to result in optimum and effective utilization of outlay earmarked and better monitoring of Plan Schemes at implementing stages during the year 2016-17.

Progress in the achievement of physical and financial targets in respect of schemes is now being reviewed by the secretary in the ministry to boost utilization in the current fiscal.

In addition, the Financial Advisor of the ministry and the concerned joint secretaries also convene meetings at their level in order to review the performance of the plan schemes. In such meetings representatives from various media units under the ministry and implementing agencies are also called for discussion, whenever required.

The allocation of funds to various sectors during 2015-16 and 2016-17 is:
(Rs. in crore) Sector wise Budgetary Support
BE 2015-16
RE 2015-16
Expenditure as on 31.03.2016
BE 2016-17
Main Sectt.
Prasar Bharati
Total Broadcasting

Thus, allocation for Broadcasting and Film Sectors has been reduced compared to last fiscal, i.e. 2015-16 but the Information Sector has got an enhanced allocation in 2016-17.

When questioned about the reduction in other sectors and increase in the Information sector, the ministry informed the committee that the sector-wise fund allocation are based on the following rationale:

1.    The scheme-wise expenditure trend during last four years of the 12th Five Year Plan;

2.    Overall ceilings approved by Expenditure Finance Committee/Standing Finance Committee/Revised Cost             Estimates, for the 12th Plan (2012-17) with respect to each scheme;

3.    Annual scheme-wise budget proposals from different wings based on their expenditure capacity;

4.    Full provision for continuing schemes for completion of the schemes.

5.    Overall ceiling fixed by the ministry of Finance.

As the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of sub-scheme “People’s Empowerment through Development Communication (Conception and Dissemination) (Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity” was under consideration at the beginning of 2015-16, an amount of Rs 131 crore for this scheme was kept in the scheme “National Film Heritage Mission” of the film sector. After the RCE of this sub-scheme was approved by the Finance ministry, the allocation for this sub-scheme was enhanced to Rs 151 crore. Consequently, allocation with respect to information sector at revised estimate stage increased to Rs.193.42 crore and the allocation for the film sector decreased to Rs.77.31 crore.

When questioned whether the present allocation of Rs.800 crore for the current fiscal is sufficient to carry out the planned activities, the ministry told the committee that given the availability of resources and the set priorities of the government, the financial allocations are made to the ministries/departments which are mostly less than what is proposed to the Finance ministry.

The Budget Estimates allocation of Rs 800 crore for the year 2016-17 for the I and B Ministry is less than the proposed amount of Rs 1,240.69 crore.

However subject to the resource constraint, the ministry has tried to optimize the reduced allocation of Rs 800 crore amongst the schemes of the ministry sector-wise, by allocating funds to the media units in a rational manner to overcome the difficulty of reduced allocation.

Subject to the availability of the budget, the ministry will make all out efforts to reach out to the people of the country and fulfill their mandate of the public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati.


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