New Delhi: Reacting to multiple reminders from various bodies representing Media Organisations on huge outstanding dues against Govt ads and publicity expenses, the I&B ministry has assured that Bureau of Outreach and Communication is “working on a war footing” to clear the advertising bills of the media industry.
In a letter to broadcast industry organisation including News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Association of Regional TV Broadcasters of India and Producers Guild of India on Friday, the ministry said it was aware of the broadcasters’ difficulties due to the economic downturn triggered by Covid-19 Lockdown.
Since the lockdown began, the News Broadcasters Association, Indian Newspaper Society and the Association of Radio Operators for India have each submitted appeals to the government asking for a financial stimulus and the release of advertising money owed to them over the years. As per industry estimates, the government owes between Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 1,800 crore to media companies. A large chunk of this, about Rs 800-900 crore, is owed to the print industry alone. Representations for urgent release of money were made to I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar as well as PM Narendra Modi.
Addressing broadcasters and producers of TV serials in particular, the government on Friday said while it was cognisant of the broadcasting sector’s concerns, the “imminent need to give remuneration to the modestly paid cannot be lost sight of”.
“It is urged that broadcasters and producers of TV serials may take a compassionate view and ensure that all payments due to such persons up to March 2020 are cleared at the earliest,” the letter said.