Prasar Bharati Turns Down I&B Ministry Proposals On Restructuring

| February 16 , 2018 , 11:50 IST

Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Thursday turned down proposals of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on restructuring, which would include the hiring of top editorial positions, and appointment of a serving IAS officer on its board. The appointed IAS officer in the 'member personnel' role would have been responsible for all the human resource and administrative decisions of the broadcaster.

Although the Prasar Bharati Act of 1997 states that the 'member personnel' position is a full-time post and cannot be filled by a ministry official, the I&B Ministry wanted the board to make an exception. The ministry had reportedly planned to restructure Prasar Bharati to make it 'leaner' by readjustment of staff, which would likely lead to layoffs, and also wanted to terminate the services of all contractual employees.

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The Prasar Bharati board also withdrew the I&B ministry's proposal to appoint two senior journalists in the company. According to sources, the proposal was turned down as the compensation packages for the appointees was much higher than the compensation paid by the broadcaster to its contractual staff. It was also questioned whether, as a public corporation, Prasar Bharati could hire professionals with an annual salary of Rs 1 crore.  

The proposals of the Information and Broadcasting ministry were withdrawn as they were seen to be in contravention of the Prasar Bharati Act of 1990 that deemed it an autonomous corporation.

"The search committee would like good media professionals to be hired, but the issue is cost,” a source said.