New Delhi: In a move which could choke the Prasar Bharati, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has refused to release funds meant for salaries of its employees.
The I&B ministry has been breathing down Prasar Bharati’s neck after it refused to hire the services of two senior journalists recommended by the ministry at an exorbitant package.
It is learnt that as the ministry refused to release funds meant for salaries since December last year, the public service broadcaster had to withdraw nearly Rs 200 crore for salary disbursement from its own pocket.
“If this goes on, Prasar Bharati will be completely choked,” a senior official in the I&B ministry said.
There is an annual provision for Rs 2,400 crore for the salary disbursement of Prasar Bharati employees.
“Every month the ministry raises queries, creates problems before release of the salary. If the funds are not released at the earliest, the kitty of the Board are expected to run out soon,” sources added.
It is learnt that a top Prasar Bharati Board member also allegedly threatened that the funds would be stopped if the public service broadcaster “did not comply and remove the contractual employees.”
The Prasar Bharati refused to yield to the demand claiming the order was completely “illegal”. It is understood that due to the ongoing trouble between the two entities the salaries of thousands of Doordarshan and All India Radio employees are being released late....