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MIB & Prasar Bharati make up, sign agreement on funds’ release

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NEW DELHI: After lot of heartburning and media statements, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), have inked an agreement that was required for the release of financial allocation to the pubcaster, PTI reported today quoting an unnamed source.

The agreement or the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the broadcaster and the ministry in the last week of May, the source added.

Autonomous bodies getting grants-in-aid from the government are required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ministry concerned for the release of the financial allocations made in the Union Budget by the federal government.

Besides Prasar Bharati, MIB has also signed MoUs with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in the last week of May, the source added.

In April, the ministry released Rs 365 crore (Rs. 3,650 million) to Prasar Bharati after it signed the MoU following months of standoff between the two sides on various contentious issues during the time when Smriti Irani was the senior minister. Subsequently she was shifted out of the ministry.

The ministry releases an amount of around Rs 200 crore (Rs. 2 billion) to Prasar Bharati every month and a major share of it goes to payment of salaries.

The MIB had earlier released Rs 1,989 crore (Rs. 19.89 billion) to Prasar Bharati as grants-in-aid for payment of salaries to its employees.

In early March, Prasar Bharati CEO S S Vempati, in response to media reports, had said that Rs 208 crore released by the public broadcaster towards payment of salaries to its staff on 28 February 2018 were from its own reserves.

Reacting to the news report, the ministry had issued a statement saying that the Prasar Bharati had not signed an MoU as required by autonomous bodies for getting grants-in-aid.

Also Read:

MIB calls for 'fiscal prudence' in Prasar Bharati

Prasar Bharati's policy on DD Free Dish to be out soon

Prasar Bharati's main role is of pubcaster, not revenue generator, says Rathore

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