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Don’t route salaries via Prasar Bharati: DD, AIR staff to I&B

The letter from representatives of unions from Akashvani and DD comes in the wake of a spat between the Prasar Bharati and the ministry over the payment of funds for salaries.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2018 08:17 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prasar Bharati,DD,Doordarshan
Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body under I&B and its broadcast arms are AIR and DD, whose employees’ salaries are paid by the ministry, but routed through the Prasar Bharti.(Twitter)

Unions of various departments of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) have written to the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) to work out a mechanism for paying salaries directly, instead of routing them through Prasar Bharati (PB), under which these broadcast arms come.

Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body under I&B and its broadcast arms are AIR and DD, whose employees’ salaries are paid by the ministry, but routed through the Prasar Bharti.

These unions have also demanded that security from vital installation of both AIR and DD that has been withdrawn or reduced by PB citing “financial crunch” should be reversed to protect these installation that come under the Official Secrets Act 1923.

The letter from representatives of unions -- such as the association of Akashvani and DD engineering employees, audience research employees association, Akashvani announcers association among others -- comes in the wake of a spat between the Prasar Bharati and the ministry over the payment of funds for salaries.

While PB has alleged that the ministry has not released monies earmarked for salaries of AIR, DD and other broadcast employees, the ministry has retorted that the funds have been held back because the autonomous body did not sign a memorandum of understanding with the ministry.

In a letter, to the ministry, a copy of which is with HT, the union representatives have said: “The employees are not interested in the fight between ministry and PB, but we fail to understand the reason for reluctance by PB to submit the details of the expenditure sought by the ministry for the release of funds for salaries of the employees in time.”

They have asked for exploring the possibility of payment of salaries to AIR and DD employees directly from the ministry to the offices of director generals of both entities .

The unions have pointed out that there has been “regular non disbursement of salaries to the employees on time since July 2017 till date, despite regular intervention from MIB.”

A PB official said the broadcaster has had to pay the salaries for the past two months from its contingency fund and it would be difficult for them to pay salaries for the month of March if the funds were not released by the I&B ministry.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 08:16 IST