Information and broadcasting ministry spent Rs 25 crore on ads in Punjab, UP
The information and broadcasting ministry spent around Rs 25 crore to advertise the government’s schemes such as demonetisation and ‘beti bachao, beti padhao’ in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh that elected new governments recently.
The information was provided by a parliamentary panel in its recent report.
The money is part of the Rs 37. 53 crore that was allocated for conducting 7,925 communication campaigns by the directorate of field publicity (DFP) under the ministry in partnership with Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), an agency hired for the purpose.
DFP’s mandate is to publicise government programmes at the grassroots levels through film and photography exhibitions, street plays, and other audio-visual means.
BECIL is a public sector enterprise of the government that provides project consultancy services in radio and television broadcast engineering.
The ministry informed the standing committee on information and technology that the DFP came up with a proposal of a pilot project to conduct “interpersonal communication campaigns” through hiring of professional agencies.
The task was to highlight government campaigns and social welfare programmes such as Swachh Bharat and Jan Dhan Yojana in states with “media dark areas”.
After the proposal was vetted and sanctioned by the ministry, the budget for financial year 2016-17 was raised from Rs 4 crore to Rs 41.50 crore during revised estimates.
During the first phase of the pilot project, 4,750 events across 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh were completed, while in Punjab, 1,500 programmes across 12 districts were organised and a total of Rs 24.99 crore was spent.
Both states were among the five that went to polls in February-March.
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