With public broadcaster Prasar Bharati facing a constant financial crunch and depending on the Centre for its funding, the government is understood to be thinking about selling off parts of its land inventory located in various parts of the country.
The Union information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has been advised to go in for “selective monetisation of idle assets and generate much needed revenue” for the Prasar Bharati. The I&B ministry and Prasar Bharati are understood to have completed the process of “inventorisation”, or the listing of assets.
Sources said that the I&B ministry is currently under the process of finalising the terms and conditions of of transfer of properties and assets.
Sources also said that once the Prasar Bharati got almost 50 per cent of budgetary support from the government.
Over the past few years, there has been a view that the public broadcaster should generate more revenues, monetise its assets and reduce its dependence on government funding by become financially independent.
This step of seeking more financial independence of the body is in keeping with the spirit of the Prasar Bharati Act, that envisions the public broadcaster as a genuinely autonomous body, sources added.
It is also understood that the public broadcaster is expected to conduct a manpower audit so as to deploy its employees in a more useful and productive manner, sources said. Better manpower utilisation is also expected to effectively reduce the operational costs of the public broadcaster.
It must be noted that the Sam Pitroda Committee, constituted to revitalise the Prasar Bharati, in its report submitted in 2014 had made 26 recommendations which addressed issues of financial and administrative autonomy for the public broadcaster. – Asian Age