Parliament passes Prasar Bharti Amendment Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) Parliament today passed the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Bill with Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi assuring that the public service broadcaster would be professionalised and accountability ensured so that it could face the challenges posed by the private channels.

Replying to the debate on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Dasmunsi asserted that the amenmendment has not been brought with any personal agenda of the UPA government or against any individual.

He expressed shock over the BJP leader Kalraj Mishra's charge that the UPA government was trying to replace the Prasar Bharti Chairman M V Kamath by bringing up this bill.

He said that the GoM consituted by the cabinet was considering on the issue of having a full time CEO instead of a part time Chairman as at present. Moreover, the upper age limit of the CEO would be fixed as was the practice in all the government and public sector undertakings, he said.

The GoM was also considering professionalising the set up, providing budgetary support and protecting the interests of the employees and once it finalised the recommendations, the cabinet would clear and bring a new bill in Parliament. It would enable Prasar Bharti to meet the challenges of the private channels as its very survival will depend upon the professionalism. He said that programme code and content code are being finalised for the public broadcaster.

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