The Prasar Bharti Act may soon see some major amendments. A Group of Ministers (GoM) examining it has recommended that the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry look at such a possibility.
Having held two meetings already,the GoM,headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram,has suggested that the Prasar Bharti Board expedite the process of setting up the recruitment board and formulate new recruitment rules by July 31. The Board has also been asked to fill up critical posts lying vacant.
The GoM has pointed out that while the Prasar Bharti Act,1990 has a provision for setting up of a committee of parliamentarians and a broadcasting council to oversee the functioning of the board and look into the complaints against it,the same has not yet been implemented.
Now with the parliamentary standing committees already fulfilling the purpose,the GoM has recommended that the Act be amended to do away with this provision. That apart,it has said that other amendments if needed should also be considered and compiled by September-end this year. The GoM has also recommended that a joint-secretary level four-member committee be formed to address the disparities in pay scales. This (the committee) will only look into the employees of Information and Broadcasting and Prasar Bharti, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters at an interaction.
In the last one year,the Prasar Bharti Board has faced serious allegations of irregularities and seen open spats between CEO B S Lalli and Prasar Bharti Board members. The I&B Ministry in an attempt to put things back on track recently appointed eminent journalist Mrinal Pande as the Boards chairperson.
Ambika Soni,incidentally,has also written to Mrinal Pandey,raising a number of issues,including the non-payment of salaries to a number of casual employees engaged with All India Radio and Doordarshan. That apart,Soni has also asked the Press Council of India to submit its report on paid news at the earliest.