New Delhi: Coming to the rescue of Prasar Bharati which is facing financial problems, Government today cleared a proposal for its financial restructuring while waiving off debt of over Rs. 1,300 crore.
The proposal of the Information and Broadcasting ministry, approved by the Union Cabinet, was based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Prasar Bharati (PB) which had been constituted to examine various issues pertaining to the functioning of Prasar Bharati.
“On the basis of the recommendations of GoM, the Cabinet has given its approval to improve the overall financial management of Prasar Bharati,” an official statement said.
Following this approval, during the next five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17, Government non-Plan support will be made available to Prasar Bharati for meeting hundred per cent expenses towards salary and salary related expenses.
All other operating expenses to be borne by the Prasar Bharati through its internal revenue earnings. Plan capital support by the Government to Prasar Bharati will be in the form of grants-in-aid only and not in the form of loan, the statement said.
Accumulated interest on loan-in-perpetuity, interest on capital loan and penal interest thereon payable by the broadcaster to Government will be waived off, the statement said.
Loan-in-perpetuity and capital loans provided to Prasar Bharati will now be converted into grants-in-aid. In another major relief, the accumulated arrears of space segment and spectrum charges accrued to the broadcaster upto March 31st 2011 of Rs 1,349.54 crore, will now be waived off.