New Delhi : The Information and Broadcasting Ministry may suitably amend provisions of Prasar Bharati Act but ensure that functional autonomy of the public broadcaster envisaged in the Act was not diluted and much desired autonomy was secured, a Parliamentary Panel has suggested.
In a report on Demand for Grants (2015-16) of the ministry, the Standing Committee on Information Technology said it had been given to understand that the sections in the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 which empower Central Government to regulate recruitment conditions in Prasar Bharati are impinging upon the autonomous character of the organisation.
It added that as per I&B Ministry, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Prasar Bharati had reviewed the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 and recommended certain amendments to the Act to improve the governance in Prasar Bharati. The Committee said that they have been informed that these contentious sections were not covered in the GoM recommendations.
“The Ministry are in process of assessing and analysing the proposals made in the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Bill.
“The Committee recommend that the Ministry may suitably amend the provisions of the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 so that the functional autonomy of Prasar Bharati envisaged in the Act is not diluted and the much desired autonomy for the national broadcaster is secured,” the panel said in its report.
The Standing Committee headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur also noted that there has not been much headway in implementation of the recommendations of the Sam Pitroda Committee Report on Prasar Bharati, which was presented to the Government in February, 2014.
“There seems to be lack of coordination and cohesion between the Ministry of I&B and Prasar Bharati in so far as implementation of these recommendations are concerned, because Prasar Bharati claims to have taken several operational and policy initiatives separately, particularly in the absence of any clarity from the Government about the acceptance of the Sam Pitroda Committee’s entire range of recommendations,” it said.
The Committee said it takes a serious view of this casual and lackadaisical approach of the Government on such an important matter. It asked the ministry to come out with a definite action plan for the implementation of recommendations of the Expert Committee.