Cash-strapped Prasar Bharati asked to raise revenue

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) A parliamentary panel has voiced concerns over the precarious financial condition of Prasar Bharati and suggested that the public broadcaster take a host of initiatives to generate additional revenue to bear burgeoning operational costs.

The parliamentary standing committee on IT submitted its report to both houses of parliament Tuesday.

The panel said its examination of budgetary documents revealed that the revenue receipts of Prasar Bharati had been gradually sliding, and the gap between revenue receipts and expenditure was steadily increasing.

The revenue projections for 2010-111 were Rs.1,562.37 crore against which the revenue receipts were Rs.968.69 crore, leaving a gap of Rs.1,773.14 crore, said the panel's report.

In view of the information and broadcasting ministry's observation that the entire financial reserves of Prasar Bharati will be wiped out if this trend continued, the panel exhorted the broadcaster to generate adequate revenue.

The panel pointed out the the outcome budget for 2011-12 mentioned that All India Radio can generate revenue through schemes like sharing of Prasar Bharati's infrastructure such as towers, building and land with private broadcaster and mobile service providers and providing value added SMS-based service.

"It is inexplicable why Prasar Bharati has not been able to implement these schemes which in their own admission can generate revenue though public-private participation for 10-15 years," said the panel report.

The committee said it was of the opinion that the broadcaster can enhance its revenue by implementing these schemes and by adopting suitable marketing strategies, content improvement and DTH services.

A Group of Ministers had suggested financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati and suggested that all operating expenses should be borne by the broadcaster's internal revenues.

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