Parliamentary panel wants more funds for DD International

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 27, 2015

A file photo of Prasar Bharati’s headquarters in New Delhi   -  The Hindu

Token amount of ₹50 lakh for 2015-16 not enough, it tells government

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology has asked the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to allocate adequate funds to Prasar Bharati for expanding public broadcaster DD’s presence in international markets.

Under the scheme of global coverage for DD International, the government has allocated a token ₹50 lakh for 2015-16. The government believes that the public broadcaster’s overseas presence is important to present the real picture of the country to Indian and foreign viewers abroad.

Channel promotion

However, Prasar Bharati has said that countries, such as Japan, Germany, China and Russia, invest heavily in their international channels. In comparison, it has limited financial resources to produce content and promote the channel and needs additional support.

Last year, it signed a MoU with Duetsche Welle for providing its international channels DD India, on free-to-air basic package through the DTH platform, which is available to viewers across Europe, Central Asia, West Asia and North America.

“The committee feels that adequate funds need to be allocated to the plan scheme of DD International and efforts to be made to get financial and resources support from Ministry of External Affairs and other Ministries concerned, a report stated.

The committee has also recommended that the I&B Ministry in consultation with the Finance Ministry must evolve a mechanism to ensure that the funds when allocated at the Budget Estimate stage are not withdrawn unless there is a major shortfall in utilisation.

Among the various other recommendations, the committee has also asked the Ministry to unlock the value of certain assets of Prasar Bharati as a pilot case.

Land resources

This has come in wake of Prasar Bharati submitting proposal to the I&B Ministry for monetisation of available land resources for garnering revenues.

However, these proposals are yet to be approved by the Ministry and any such move will require the approval of the Cabinet.

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Published on April 27, 2015
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