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DD to let go of 25% of its contractual staff to stem losses

Sources told HT that the plan to reduce the workforce in Prasar Bharati, an autonomous body under the ministry of information and broadcasting, has been in the pipeline for a while.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2017 22:30 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Prasar Bharati,Doordarshan,DD
In a communication sent to DD director general, Prasar Bharati has asked the public service broadcaster to identify contractual employees across its various centres who will be relieved of duty.

To stem losses and cut expenses, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has asked its publicity arm, Doordarshan (DD), to lay off 25% of its contractual staff across various centres.

In a communication sent to DD director general, Prasar Bharati has asked the public service broadcaster to identify contractual employees across its various centres who will be relieved of duty. The decision to downsize staff comes in the wake of a report submitted by a committee that was set up by the public broadcasting agency to offer suggestions on bringing down expenditure.

Sources told HT that the plan to reduce the workforce in Prasar Bharati, an autonomous body under the ministry of information and broadcasting, has been in the pipeline for a while and suggestions to trim the staff strength have been made several times in the past as well.

“The Sam Pitroda committee that was formed to revive the public broadcaster had made a suggestion in 2014 to carry out a man-power audit and reduce the staff strength of the organisation that spends more on salaries and other expenses than programming,” a source told HT.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary standing committee had also questioned the delay in conducting the manpower audit and asked the ministry to prepare an action plan on the Pitroda committee’s recommendations.

While Prasar Bharati and DD officials were unavailable for comment, I&B ministry sources said reducing the staff strength was part of a larger plan to offset losses and make up for depleting cash reserves precipitated by falling television rating points.

Prasar Bharati, which wants more autonomy in decision making, has been flagging the issue of revenue deficit for the past few years.

Before he resigned as Prasar Bharati’s CEO, Jawhar Sircar told I&B ministry in a presentation that the broadcaster was forced to use its reserve funds after paying salaries to its casual and contractual staff.

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 22:30 IST