RadioandMusic
| 01 Jun 2020
Private and Community Radio to get substantial increase in grants-in-aid

New Delhi: The grants-in-aid for Prasar Bharati gone up again for the third time over the last few years from the revised estimates of Rs 2708.29 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 3056.86 for 2016-17.

The total budget of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been raised to Rs 4083.63 crore which is a small raise in comparison to Rs 3711.11 crore for 2015-16, though the revised estimates for the year show an expenditure of Rs 3588.58 crore.

A major effort this year has been to reduce the number of heads under which allocations have been made over the years. For example, there are no separate allocation for film certification or Press Information Services as in previous years.

Interestingly, there is a separate allocation of Rs 30.83 crore for strengthening of broadcasting services which includes Rs 28.83 on information and publicity and the balance on building and machinery. This provides for Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, contribution to the Asian Institute of Broadcasting Development, Community Radio movement in India, Digitalization, Building and Machinery and private FM Radio Stations.

There is another provision of Rs 491.78 crore which includes expenditure (a) Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity - for planning and executing publicity campaigns through advertising and other printed materials, as well as through Radio and Televisions, exhibitions and other outdoor publicity media; (b) Press Information Bureau - which serves as a link between the Government and the Press and attends to the publicity and public relations requirements of various Ministries/Departments, including grants to Press Council of India, a statutory organisations seeking to preserve press; (c) Field Publicity - covering expenditure of Directorate of Field Publicity and its district level field units engaged in inter-personal developmental communications through films shows, live media programmes, photo displays and seminars; (d) Song and Drama Division - for creating awareness amongst the masses, particularly in rural areas, about various activities of national developments of units spread all over
the country; (e) Publications - for publishing priced books, journals and other printed material in English, Hindi and regional languages on a wide variety of subjects and 'Employment News/Rozgar Samachar'; (f) Information Wing Plan Schemes - for training, international media programme, Policy related studies etc.; and (g) Photo Division.

In addition, there is an investment of Rs 200 crore in the pubcaster, which is the same as last year. Though the previous government had stopped investments in the pubcaster, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had re-introduced this in 2015-16 after a gap of two years.

An explanatory note says the Grants-in-aid is being provided to cover the gap in resources of Prasar Bharati in meeting its revenue expenditure.

The grant in aid for Prasar Bharati in 2015-16 had been Rs 2824.55 crore for 2015-16, apart from the grant-in-aid of Rs 26.26 crore in the revised estimates (as against the budgetary allocation of Rs 45 crore) on Kisan Channel.