BOC cleared ad dues worth Rs 1304.64 crore in 3 years: MIB to IT Committee

As per reports, the clearance of old pendencies has been taken up by the MIB and BOC as a top priority in the last few years

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 3, 2021 8:54 AM  | 3 min read

In order to avoid outstanding dues relating to government advertisements, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has directed the Bureau of Outreach (BOC), erstwhile DAVP, not to book ads on behalf of ministries and departments till the time they clear the previous dues. The ministry also said that the BOC has cleared dues worth Rs 1304.64 crore in the last three years. 

In its reply to the Standing Committee on Information Technology and Communications, the ministry said that it has put in place the requisite policy mechanism to ensure that such pendencies could be avoided in the future. "To this effect, Print Media Advertisement Policy 2020 has incorporated a clause that all Ministries and Departments should place funds in advance, in absence of which BOC may not release the advertisement or undertake any campaign, except in the cases of exigency," MIB has quoted as saying in the action taken report that was tabled in the parliament.

"Similar clauses have been incorporated in the policies related to campaign through Social Media etc. In a review in the Ministry of I&B, BOC has been directed not to undertake any fresh paid campaign of the Ministries/Departments unless they have cleared their old pendencies."

As per the report, the clearance of old pendencies has been taken up by the MIB and BOC as a top priority in the last few years. The matter has been flagged by Secretary, MIB to his counterparts in other Ministries and written letters to them from time to time. This has further been followed up by the Principal Director General/Director General, BOC. "As a result of these efforts, BOC has cleared Rs. 1304.64 crores against previous pendencies during the last three years, i.e., 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020–21," the ministry noted.

The committee had noted that the outstanding claims of BOC against agencies that have placed advertisements with it for the year 2019-20 and 2020-21, is Rs. 103.95 crore. It further stated that several efforts have been made for recovering outstanding claims against the agencies which also include a series of letters written by Secretary, MIB to his counter-parts for settling the outstanding dues by the respective client Ministries/Departments and despite that huge amount of outstanding is due against the agencies.

It has recommended the MIB/BOC to formulate guidelines for setting up a deadline for the agencies to recover the due amount and for releasing the fund. The Ministry should keep pursuing with the Heads of the Ministries/Departments/agencies for early release of the outstanding dues.

The committee feels that getting the outstanding funds on time would render BOC with sufficient resources enabling them to fulfil its mandate. It also asked the MIB to apprise it about the steps taken to recover the outstanding claims of BOC, which is Rs 103.95 crore for the period 2019-20 and 2020-21, along with the outcome of the same.

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