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Interim budget fattens I&B’s purse by 12%; Prasar Bharati gets Rs 2,331 cr as grants-in-aid

NEW DELHI: The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has been allocated Rs 3,216 crore ( Rs 32.16 billion) for 2014-15 in the interim budget, including Rs 2,331 crore ( Rs 23.31 billion) as grants-in- aid for pubcaster Prasar Bharati.

An additional Rs 200 crore ( Rs 2 billion) has been allotted to Prasar Bharati under ‘investment in public enterprises’.

The amount allotted to I&B this time is 12 per cent higher than the Rs 2,855 crore ( Rs 28.55 billion) given in the revised budget for FY14.

Monday’s budget, presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, was an interim exercise ahead of the general election slated in May.

Out of the total Rs 3,216 crore ( Rs 32.16 billion), Rs 905 crore ( Rs 9.05 billion) is planned allocation, while the remaining 2,311 crore ( Rs 23.11 billion) is non-plan.

Prasar Bharati gets Rs 1,890 crore ( Rs 18.90 billion) out of its total share of Rs 2,331 crore from non-plan allocation. As per the budget document, the grants-in-aid to Prasar Bharati is towards meeting salary and salary-related expenditure.

A sum of Rs 227.37 crore ( Rs 2.27 billion) has been allocated for advertising and visual publicity and Rs 54.24 crore ( Rs 542.4 million) for field publicity. The funds, naturally, will be used by the ministry for different ‘Bharat Nirman’ campaigns, highlighting the achievements of the government.

The grants cover expenditures of the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) which plans and executes publicity campaigns through advertising and printed materials, as well as through radio, televisions, exhibitions and other outdoor publicity media. The Directorate of Field Publicity and its district-level field units are engaged in developmental communication through film shows, live media programmes, photo displays and seminars.

While the total plan outlay for information and publicity is Rs 372.92 crore ( Rs 3.73 billion), for broadcasting it is Rs 641.58 crore ( Rs 6.42 billion).

Meanwhile, the interim budget also provides Rs 135.81 crore ( Rs 1.36 billion) for films and Rs 7.18 crore ( Rs 71.8 million) for certification of cinematographic films.

The films head covers film division which disseminates information on all important aspects of the country’s life to Indian and foreign audience through news reels, short films and documentaries; expenditure on Directorate of Film Festivals, National Awards for films, expenditure on International Film Festival of India and Panorama of Indian Films in the Film Festivals, additions and alterations to Film Festival Complex at Siri Fort, New Delhi, National Film Archive of India which preserves the best of national and foreign film classics, grant to Children’s Films Society which produces and distributes films for children, grants to Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, which imparts training in the art and technique of film-making, and grants to Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata.

Certification of Cinematographic Films covers expenditure on Central Board of Film Certification and Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

An amount of Rs 33.54 crore ( Rs 335.4 million) has been allocated for the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and the Research, Reference and Training Division (RRTD). While IIMC imparts training in the field of media and communication, RRTD collects and collates information on subjects of media interest for providing assistance to the ministry and to its media units, Indian missions abroad, newspapers and media agencies.

An amount of Rs 65.44 ( Rs 654.4 million) has been allocated under press information services through the Press Information Bureau, grants to Press Council of India, and as subsidy for running India’s news pool desk of non-aligned news agencies pool through the Press Trust of India.

The I&B Ministry’s song and drama division has received Rs 31.56 crore ( Rs 315.6 million) , while Rs 13.75 crore ( Rs 137.5 million) has been set aside for the Electronic Media Monitoring Services Centre, which monitors TV channels /radio for violation of programme and advertising code of conduct.

Additionally, Rs 90.50 crore ( Rs 905 million) is allocated for projects and schemes for development work in the north-eastern region including Sikkim.