A group of ministers (GoM) headed by home minister P Chidambaram, has come out with a slew of far-reaching measures that could bring in greater accountability, efficiency, transparency, as well as infuse younger blood into the beleaguered Prasar Bharati.
The measures recommended include fixing the upper age limit for the chairperson and other full-time Prasar Bharati board members at 55, from 70 years earlier. The GoM felt that younger members would be in a better position to guide Prasar Bharati in the present competitive environment and would be more aware of technological and programming requirements.
Prasar Bharati, an autonomous body formed by an act of Parliament, controls Doordarshan and All India Radio.
Tasked to recommend much-needed amendments to the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 and to look at the financial restructuring and efficiency aspects of the organisation, the GoM has also recommended that in the next five years from 2011-12 to 2015-16, all salary, salary-related expenses, augmentation and replacement of capital assets would be met from government non-plan support.
From its internal revenue earnings, Prasar Bharati will have to bear all other operating and production expenses. This arrangement is to be reviewed after five years.
The public service broadcaster is looking at a 10% growth in revenue in the next five years after factoring in potential
emerging areas of earning like e-auctioning of the DTH platform for carriage of private TV channels, which alone is expected to bring in Rs 300 crore while also promoting more transparency.
The recommendations for better governance in the public broadcaster are also aimed at making the chairperson and board members more accountable besides enabling the government to make timely interventions and effectively supervise the functioning.