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MIB issues a statement, denies reports on the release of funds to Prasar Bharati

03-March-2018
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MIB issues a statement, denies reports on the release of funds to Prasar Bharati

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a statement denying the recent reports that it has withheld funds from Prasar Bharati as retaliation for Prasar Bharti disobeying certain dictates of the Ministry, calling the reports "defamatory" and "sinister".

Here is the full statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:

It has come to the notice of the Ministry, that a deliberate, sinister and motivated campaign has been launched by some elements to wrongfully tarnish the image of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, by reporting that money to Prasar Bharati is not being released after December 2017, as a retaliation to Prasar Bharat 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 Bharati 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 the GFR, any autonomous organisation receiving grants-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 the financial year. For the record, irrespective of repeated reminders from the Ministry, no MoU has been signed by Prasar Bharati.
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 Bharati, 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 30 cr per month for the salary head (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 by following similar footsteps, together a lot can be done to enhance transparency and accountability.
However, the Ministry would like to reiterate that the government remains committed to protecting the interest of all Prasar Bharti employees.

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