New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for a comprehensive performance and expenditure audit of television channel RajyaSabha TV after discovering that huge costs of Rs 60 crore per annum is being incurred by the channel.
Naidu was unhappy with the kind of expenditure incurred by the channel on renting office premises, hiring cabs and producing a feature film. Since the launch of the government-owned channel in August 2011, the channel has incurred an expenditure of Rs 375 crore — working to around Rs 62.5 crore annually. The statistics provided to the RajyaSabha Chairman reveal that RSTV. Moreover, RSTV pays Rs 25 crore as an annual rent to hire NDMC-owned premises in Talkatora Stadium. Naidu has directed RSTV to find out whether making a one-time investment and buying an office space would be more economical than spending Rs 25 crore annually.
Naidu, who is also chairman of RajyaSabha, reviewed the functioning of the channel and also suggested a system for feedback and evaluation of content aired. He has also raised queries regarding the original mandate of the channel, present content mix, reach of the channel, utilization of manpower and other resources, expenditure under various heads and the scope for rationalization.
He also questioned the expenditure of Rs 12.5 crore spent on producing a film ‘RaagDesh’, directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and asked why a TV channel which was mandated to cover RajyaSabha proceedings, news and official functions would get into producing a feature film.”
The RajyaSabha secretariat in August appointed PrasarBharati chief executive ShashiShekhar Vempati as chief of RajyaSabha TV. Vempati replaced Gurdeep Singh Sappal who resigned in July.
Founded in 2008, RajyaSabha TV is owned and operated by RajyaSabha and covers the proceedings of the upper house of Parliament. Naidu, who was formerly information and broadcasting (I&B) minister, replaced Hamid Ansari as India’s vice president on 11th August 2017.