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GoM looking into recommendations to strengthen Prasar Bharati

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The government today said 25 per cent of each half-an-hour transmission slot on Doordarshan channels is available for carrying advertisements and programme promotion.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi said Prasar Bharati had informed that the placement of advertisements in news bulletins was done in a manner to ensure accrual of commercial revenues to DD without impairing news components.

Mr Dasmunsi also informed that the government did not maintain any record of the frequency of advertisements telecast on private channels.

The minister informed that the government had constituted a committee, headed by the I&B Secretary, in March last year for suggesting a viable capital and financial structute for Prasar Bharati to strengthen its functioning.

''The Committee has dealt and deliberated on the restructuring options available and submitted its report. Its recommendations are currently before the Group of Ministers constituted by the government to examine various issues pertaining to the functioning of Prasar Bharati.'' The minister further informed that the government was providing grants to Prasar Bharati as a whole and not to Doordarshan separately. In 2005-06, an amount of Rs 1078.02 crore was sanctioned for Prasar Bharati. In 2004-05, the amount sanctioned was Rs 1010.78 crore and in 2003-04 it was Rs 1001.47 crore.

He said Prasar Bharati was not running purely on a commercial basis. ''The earning of commercial revenue is not the only objective of the organisation but is only incidental to its activities,'' he pointed out.

During 2005-06, Prasar Bharati generated a revenue of Rs 1064.83 crore as compared to Rs 718.10 crore in 2004-05 and Rs 569.79 crore in 2003-04.

Replying to another query, he said the government did not have any control on the standard and quality of serials telecast by private TV channels.

To another questioner, he said DD Lok Sabha and DD Rajya Sabha channels had been made compulsory for cable operators to telecast the proceedings in the non-prime band.

Pointing out that some complaints about the violation of this provision had been received from some areas in the national capital, he said the ministry had written to governments of all states and UTs in May last year and July this year for enforcement of these provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.


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