The government has neither given any proposal to the Prasar Bharati to hire two senior journalists nor did the public broadcaster veto a proposal from the Information and Broadcasting ministry to terminate the services of all contractual employees, Parliament was informed today.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore simply said No Sir in a written reply to a query whether Prasar Bharati had vetoed a proposal in the form of a resolution by government to terminate the services of all contractual employees of the public broadcaster.
He did not elaborate and it was not clear whether he was only denying the veto, or was also denying that there was any resolution by the government on the termination of contractual employees.
To another query that whether Prasar Bharati has also turned down government's proposal to hire two senior journalists on grounds of exorbitant emolument packages, Rathore said, Government has not given any such proposal to Prasar Bharati to hire two senior journalists.
The remarks come in the backdrop of media reports quoting sources as saying the Prasar Bharati board in its meeting on February 15 dropped a resolution regarding the appointment of two senior journalists as head of Doordarshan News and Chief Editor of Prasar Bharati News Service (AIR) on the grounds of high costs.
The reports also said some of the board members took objection to the "ministry's directive" regarding termination of contractual employees of the Prasar Bharati.
To a separate question on measures taken to address issues of financial and administrative autonomy of Prasar Bharati as per the recommendations of Sam Pitroda Committee, Rathore said the ministry has been providing grants to the Prasar Bharati for creation of capital assets, grants in-aid for Kisan Channel and grants-in-aid for salaries.
News website 'The Wire' had quoted Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash as saying that the public broadcaster had to pay staff salary for January and February out of its contingency funds as the ministry had not released the funds.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)