New Delhi: To overcome the financial crisis faced by News Broadcasters due to the dwindling Ad revenues and escalating costs of coverage during the Covid19 Lockdown, Rajat Sharma, President, News Broadcasters Association (NBA), has addressed a letter dated 27.4.2020 to Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
The letter elucidates the need for a stimulus package for the news broadcasters relating to the Bureau of Outreach & Communication (BOC)/DAVP advertisements and outstanding dues of the member. The letter suggested MOI&B announce a stimulus package for the broadcast media by increase the rates of BOC/ DAVP advertisements by 50% and a substantial increase in budgetary allocations of all Ministries/ Departments and organizations of the Govt. of India for the dissemination of information/ communication relating to COVID 19 pandemic by BOAC/ DAVP through private satellite TV channels for its widest reach to all sections of the society.
Further, Rajatsharma’s letter highlighted the issue of outstanding dues of BOC/ DAVP of NBA member broadcasters, which is pending since 2010 with no resolution to date.
Elaborating further with details of outstanding dues from BOC/ DAVP the letter said, “We have collated the current outstanding dues reported by our member broadcasters with regard to various Ministries/Departments released by BOC/ DAVP up to 31.3.2020. The total outstanding dues reported by members of the NBA is approximately Rs.64,49,87,733/-, a substantial amount, which has remained unpaid over the years. Against the said outstanding, it may kindly be noted that that the outstanding dues of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) reported by the members is approximately Rs.8,62,25,333/-.
“We request you to kindly instruct the BOC/ DAVP to clear all the outstanding dues of various ministries and in particular the dues of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) of approximately Rs.8,62,25,333/-. Payment of these outstanding dues of BOC/ DAVP will give some relief to the broadcasters who are under severe financial stress. If the payments have not been made to the broadcasters due to non-receipt of payment we request the MoI&B, to kindly take up the matter with the concerned client Ministries /Departments and organizations of the Govt. of India, to release the long-overdue payment expeditiously to BOC/ DAVP.” The letter added.
NBA Board members also requested a Zoom call with the I&B Minister and officials to explain further the imperative need for the suggested stimulus package for the sustenance and survival of the news broadcasters.