India News

I&B Ministry, Prasar Bharati Spar Over Salary Of Employees; NFDC Managing Director Sacked

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry under Smriti Irani has withheld funds needed to pay the salaries of Prasar Bharti’s employees, reported The Wire. Prasar Bharati, which is an autonomous body that functions under the aegis of I&B Ministry, had to disburse the salaries of their employees for January and February from their contingency funds, added the report.


The dispute between the ministry and Prasar Bharati peaked when the latter refused to pay nearly Rs 3- crore as fees to a Mumbai-based private company, SOL Productions Pvt Ltd, which had the telecast rights for the International Film Festival of India held in Goa last year.

Doordarshan had always covered the inauguration and the closing ceremony of the film festival, however in 2017, Irani gave the management rights to public sector National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) which in turn gave exclusive telecast rights for IFFI to SOL Production Private Ltd, according to The Wire report.

Meanwhile, the ministry recently terminated the services of NFDC managing director, Nina Lath, because of procedural lapses, reported Hindustan Times.

The Economic Times reported Lath was sacked for flouting norms and favouring SUN TV Network. “The ministry probe found an ‘overpayment’ running into lakhs for Sun TVBSE -1.25 % for the release of TV spots under EMA policy,” added the report.

Lath had launched the Film Bazaar initiative in 2007 joining with buyers and sellers of movie rights. In March 2012, she launched Cinemas of India distribution brand to release old NFDC movies after restoration.

In response to The Wire report, the I&B Ministry issued a statement saying that funds to Prasar Bharati was withheld as the former had failed to abide by the rules.