Friday, 2 March 2018

Clarification Regarding Release of Funds to Prasar Bharti

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

Clarification Regarding Release of Funds to Prasar Bharti

MAR 2018

It has come to the notice of the Ministry that a deliberate, sinister, motivated campaign has been launched by some elements to wrongfully tarnish the image of the Ministry of I&B by reporting that money to Prasar Bharti is not being released after December, 2017 as a retaliation to Prasar Bharti not obeying certain dictates of the Ministry. The misinformation is based on ill-will and incorrect appreciation with half baked facts and is tantamount to causing loss of reputation of the Government in public eyes. It is patently defamatory in nature. Hence, it is important to bring the following facts to light:

Fiscal prudence and accountability is the very fulcrum of the functioning of any Government organisation. Prasar Bharti is as much bound by the General Financial Rules (GFR) of the Government of India as any Ministry or any organisation receiving grants-in-aid from the Government. As per the provision of GFR, any autonomous organisation receiving Grant-in-Aid must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry, clearly bringing out the physical and financial targets with timelines for activities to be done by utilising the said grant during that financial year. For the record, irrespective of repeated reminders from the Ministry, no MoU has been signed by Prasar Bharti.

As an example of how fiscal accountability leads to curbing of wasteful expenditure, the following point illustrates it:

By bringing in Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in Prasar Bharti, at repeated insistence of the Ministry, exact amount of expenditure on employees has been worked out and this has resulted in savings to the tune of nearly Rs. 30 cr per month for the salary head (Rs. 360 cr a year). The Sam Pitroda Committee had also suggested a number of measures such as manpower audit etc. to enhance financial discipline. Hence, we are hopeful that following similar footsteps, together a lot can be done to enhance transparency and accountability.

However, the Ministry would like to re-iterate that the Government remains committed to protect the interest of all Prasar Bharti employees.


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