About eighty five private producers and agencies owe Doordarshan a whopping Rs 182.13 crores as on July 31, 2001. The public broadcaster plans to take legal action in most cases. In some cases though, it has been able to contain the damage by encashing the bank guarantee.
All cases pertain to commercial slots occupied by the production houses through programmes aired on any of the DD channels.
The Mumbai-based Shree Madhav, owes Rs 12.70 crores for more than four months now, it had to forfeit its bank guarantee of Rs 12.30 crores to Doordarshan.
Plus Channel, which is now defunct, owes Rs 12.05 crores since 1998-99. With the appointment of a liquidator, Doordarshan is still awaiting its rightful share.
Another major defaulter is Multi Channel, whose outstanding amount is Rs 11.02 crores since May 1998. A criminal complaint is being filed, and legal notice has been issued.
Fame Communications, has Rs 10.74 crores outstanding as dues since October 2000, the bank guarantee has been encashed, Doordarshan has also issued legal notice.
The government-owned National Film Development Corporation has the highest outstanding against its name — Rs 48.38 crores as on July 31, 2001.
Two other companies, KLI and WD Consumer are also having their dues upto the tune of Rs 50 lakhs adjusted from payments to be made by DD to them.
In the case of B4U Multimedia, which owes Rs 3.15 crores, a dispute has arisen over Rs 2.37 crores, calling for arbitration. There is a dispute regarding the Rs-50 lakhs that HTA owes since April 2000 as well.
Nimbus Communications ( Rs 6.12 crores) Media Asia (Rs 1.46 crores) Market Movers (Rs 3.14 crores) are three other instances where the case has reached the stage of arbitration. The CBI is looking into the case of UTV which owes Rs 8.3 crores since March 2001.
In some cases such as Film Craft and Prime Time Media, DD has withdrawn the credit facility and is insisting on business through advance payment, while pursuing the outstanding amount payment with the agency. In several other cases, papers are being finalised for legal action.