The increase in the budgetary allocation extended to the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has registered a percentage fall, when compared to the preceding years.
Registering an overall increase of 5.96%, I&B Ministry will receive Rs 4,409 crore for the fiscal year 2017-18.
Initially, the ministry was provided with Rs 4,083.63 crore for 2016-17. At this figure, the percentage increase stood at 13.8%. But the revised estimates put the figure at an even higher pedestal of Rs 4,161 crore thereby leading to 15.96% annual increase. Data from the year before cements the trend.
As part of budget 2015, I&B Ministry’s allocation increased from Rs 3,176.80 crore to Rs 3,711.11 crore. Hence, the budgetary allocation rose by nearly 17% but was restored at 12.96% when the revised estimate brought the sum total down to Rs 3,588.58 crore. Nevertheless, the important point is that the current budgetary allocation to the I&B Ministry has only spiked by single percentage points as opposed to the double digit percentage growth in the two previous years.
When the previous two budgets were presented, FM Jaitley was also shouldering the responsibility of the I&B Ministry. He acquired the charge of the ministry in November 2014 and was relieved of it on July 5, 2016. Helmed presently by Venkaiah Naidu, the ministry administers Prasar Bharati, which houses both Doordarshan and All India Radio.
The upcoming fiscal will be a witness to increased spending on films sector. An amount of over Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the purpose. Spends will also move northward in relation to DD Kisan, a channel dedicated to farmers and the domestic agricultural sector.