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 Up loaded on Monday February 28, 2011

Prasar Bharati's budget shrinks


                                       The Prasar Bharati will have to learn to tighten its belt as it faces a budget cut.

The grant-in-aid to Prasar Bharati in the budgetary allocation of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been reduced to Rs 14.84 billion from the revised allocation of Rs 15.70 billion in 2010-11.

According to the Budget for 2011-12 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament today, the Ministry’s investment in Prasar Bharati is Rs 3.7997 billion, which is marginally lower than the Rs 3.8964 billion in the revised estimates for 2010-11.

It is understood that this been done since most of the increased expenditures in view of the telecast rights of the Commonwealth Games 2010 have been met.

While the grant-in-aid is to cover the gap in resources for meeting revenue expenditure, the investment is to finance the capital expenditure of the pubcaster.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s total plan and non-plan budget for 2011-12 has risen marginally to Rs 26.4364 billion against last year’s revised estimates of Rs 26.1806 billion.

The allocation for the Ministry includes an outlay of Rs 25.6819 billion for the information and publicity sector which includes films.

Perhaps keeping in view the centenary of Indian cinema in 2013 for which preparations have begun, the allocation for the film sector is up and pegged at Rs 1370.3 million from the revised budget of Rs 1091.8 million in 2010-11. In addition, there is a separate allocation of Rs 77 million for Certification of films.

Interestingly, the secretarial-social services budget has shot up from Rs 522.4 million to Rs 754.5 million, primarily on account of the National Film Heritage Mission, and the proposed National Centre for Animation and Gaming.

The allocation to the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre has been marginally raised to Rs 45 million from revised estimates of Rs 43.6 million in 2010-11 (as against the Rs 62.8 million allocated in the budget last year). The EMMC was set up for monitoring television and radio channels for violation of programme and advertising codes.

Interestingly, the government has not announced any investment in the National Film Development Corporation. The allocation for Press Information Services which includes grants to the Press Council of India has been lowered to Rs 592.4 million from the Rs 770 million in the revised estimates for 2010-11 that had been allocated to meet the expenses to set up media pool services for the Commonwealth Games.

The allocation for advertising and visual publicity has been raised to Rs 1233.3 million from Rs 1088.7 million in the revised estimates of the last budget, following the increase in the advertising rates of the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).

The plan outlay and lump sum provision for projects and schemes of the Ministry for development in the north-eastern region and Sikkim has gone up to Rs 861.3 million from Rs 789 million in the revised estimates.

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