Cash-strapped Prasar Bharati asked to raise revenue

New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has
voiced concerns over the precarious financial condition of Prasar
Bharati and suggested that the public broadcaster take a host of
initiatives to generate additional revenue to bear burgeoning
operational costs.


The parliamentary standing committee on IT submitted its report to both houses of parliament Tuesday.

The
panel said its examination of budgetary documents revealed that the
revenue receipts of Prasar Bharati had been gradually sliding, and the
gap between revenue receipts and expenditure was steadily increasing.


The
revenue projections for 2010-111 were Rs.1,562.37 crore against which
the revenue receipts were Rs.968.69 crore, leaving a gap of Rs.1,773.14
crore, said the panel’s report.


In view of the information and
broadcasting ministry’s observation that the entire financial reserves
of Prasar Bharati will be wiped out if this trend continued, the panel
exhorted the broadcaster to generate adequate revenue.


The panel
pointed out the the outcome budget for 2011-12 mentioned that All India
Radio can generate revenue through schemes like sharing of Prasar
Bharati’s infrastructure such as towers, building and land with private
broadcaster and mobile service providers and providing value added
SMS-based service.


“It is inexplicable why Prasar Bharati has
not been able to implement these schemes which in their own admission
can generate revenue though public-private participation for 10-15
years,” said the panel report.


The committee said it was of the
opinion that the broadcaster can enhance its revenue by implementing
these schemes and by adopting suitable marketing strategies, content
improvement and DTH services.


A Group of Ministers had
suggested financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati and suggested that
all operating expenses should be borne by the broadcaster’s internal
revenues.

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