Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ARMY TO RUN AIR & DD?

With an indefinite strike by certain cadres of employees of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati looks imminent, the government is planning to rope in Army personnel to man the stations of All India Radio and Doordarshan to ensure uninterrupted services. A Section of employees of Prasar Bharati may go on an indefinite strike from December 13, as the employees union, have not been addressed so far, the strike will begin on December 13. "A GoM which was scheduled to meet on Tuesday is not meeting now. However, government officials are confident that there will not be any strike. "We feel that the matter will be resolved within this week and there will not be any strike," sources in the I&B ministry said.

The main problem, according to the NFADE, is delayed salary disbursal. Currently, the salary for Doordarshan and AIR employees comes from the reserve fund of Prasar Bharati via the grant-in-aid received from the government. "Officials say there is no money in the reserve fund and that is why salaries are delayed," a senior AIR employee said. However, as part of the solution to prevent the strike, the government is working on a proposal to fix the disbursal of delayed salaries. "This is a proposal whereby Prasar Bharati employees will get their salaries without delay directly from the consolidated fund of India," a government source said. However the NFADE is not convinced and has called for the involvement of the I&B ministry. I&B ministry says it can not directly involve itself in Prasar Bharati as it is an autonomous body.

"The demand for repeal of the Prasar Bharati act was put before the GoM earlier. However, even the GoM did not take up the issue as it found it to be outside its purview," sources in the I&B ministry said.

Source: Financial Express


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