DD's commercial income falls short of target for last 5 years

DD's commercial income falls short of target for last 5 years

Source:- BB NAGPAL

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan earned just Rs 7.94 billion, a little over half the projection of Rs 12 billion, during 2011-12 through commercial means.

While admitting Doordarshan had failed to meet its projected target in any of the years of the Eleventh Plan, Prasar Bharati sources told indiantelevision.com that the projection for 2012-13 had provisionally been kept at Rs 13 billion.

Doordarshan earned Rs 9.44 billion against a projection of Rs 12.37 billion through commercial means in 2010-11.

The commercial revenue has been falling short of the target for the other three years of the 11th Plan as well. While actual revenues in 2007-08 stood at Rs 7.20 billion, the projection was that DD would achieve Rs 9.47 billion. Similarly, in 2008-09 the commercial revenue was Rs 7.35 billion (projection Rs 10.84 billion. The following year was no different with DD earning Rs 8.30 billion against a target of Rs 9.47 billion.

The sources sought to argue that as Prasar Bharati was a public service broadcaster, it cannot be guided purely by commercial motives and revenue generation is not its main objective.

Measures being taken to increase revenues, the sources said, include aggressive marketing, putting into best use the spare infrastructure available with Prasar Bharati, content improvement, augmenting DTH services, and sharing of towers etc. 

It was claimed that DD had witnessed a gradual growth of revenue over the years. It reaches to the people living in far flung and remotest part of the country carrying the programmes and schemes being implemented by the Government for the welfare of the community.

During the Eleventh Plan, the total revenue earned by AIR and Doordarshan came to Rs 57.68 billion. The total expenditure met out of Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources came to Rs 52.90 billion. Thus there was a gap of Rs 4.78 billion between the revenue earned and expenditure met out of IEBR.

Asked by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology whether under utilised outlay of IEBR is surrendered, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said all the residual funds out of internal revenue of Prasar Bharati are kept in its IEBR kitty as envisaged under sections 18 and 19 of Prasar Bharati Act and used for meeting its requirement on account of special maintenance of building and other capital assets and to bridge the budget gap.

Moreover, Prasar Bharati used to have budget cushion of about Rs three to five billion to meet contingencies. There is no provision in the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 to the effect that all the unspent amount of IEBR should be surrendered to the Government.

In a recent report, the Parliamentary Committee said DD should explore all the possibilities of revenue generation so as to meet the targets of projections made for planned schemes out of IEBR.

Besides, Doordarshan has to prepare for meeting the devised parameters of sharing the expenditure as per the formula suggested by the Group of Ministers, the Committee noted.

The Committee observed huge gaps between the total IEBR of Prasar Bharati and the expenditure met out of IEBR during each year of the Eleventh Plan. During 2010-11, the expenditure met was Rs 11.13 billion out of Rs 29.40 billion of IEBR.

The Committee wanted to be apprised about the total IEBR kitty of Prasar Bharati. The Committee also wanted to be apprised as to how the IEBR savings are maintained meaning thereby whether the amount is kept in accounts of banks etc. In that case, it said the amount generated through interest may also to be communicated to the Committee so as to understand the concept of IEBR kitty.