Parliamentary Committee regrets 17 years’ delay in transferring land resources to Prasar Bharati

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has said that it finds it “very hard to believe that even after a lapse of 17 years, the Centre has not formulated the terms and conditions of transfer” of certain property and assets to Prasar Bharati help the pubcaster monetize these.

Since Prasar Bharati needs funds, and monetization of land can provide the much needed revenue, the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information Technology, which also examines Information and Broadcasting, has suggested that “while complete inventorisation is undertaken, simultaneous efforts may be made to unlock the value of a few select identified properties as a ‘pilot case.’”

The Committee had been given to understand that Prasar Bharati had submitted certain proposals to the Ministry for monetization of available land resources for garnering revenue, which could be effectively utilized by them for development purposes.

However, these proposals are yet to be approved by the Ministry pending fulfillment of procedural formalities required under provisions of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990.

Under Section 16 of the Prasar Bharati Act, all property and assets shall stand transferred to (Prasar Bharati) on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Central Government and the book value of all such property and assets shall be treated as the capital provided by the Central Government to the Corporation, on the terms and conditions to be determined by the Central Government.

Noting that the Cabinet approved the proposal for financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati in September 2012, the Committee has expressed surprise that no action has been taken as yet.

According to the Ministry, the Cabinet decision/approval has to be effected on issue of formal transfer order spelling out the terms and conditions after completion of inventorisation of all assets under them.

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