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Funds for programs reduced for DDKs of North East

by IT Web Admin
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Iboyaima Laithangbam
Imphal, September 12: High officials of the Doordarshan kendras in the eight north-eastern states have been taken aback by the drastic reduction of the budgetary allocation for the financial year 2014-15. All the seven NE states were given just Rs 5 lakh for all programmes except salaries. The DDK of Sikkim was given just Rs 3 lakh for this period.All these years each station has been getting at least Rs 1 crore per annum for various programmes including commissioned ones. All inquiries have failed to elicit an explanation as to why the fund had been thus slashed. A letter written on August 5, 2014 for additional fund allocation since Rs 5 lakh is too small an amount to run the shows remains unanswered. High officials cannot say why fund is thus slashed only to these eight NE states in the entire country.Most of the kendras in this region have huge backlog of payment. Some of the kendras are yet to pay over Rs 20 lakh to the persons engaged for various programmes. Sources said that most of the programmes relating to health, farmers and art and culture cannot be filmed since the casual assignees cannot be engaged without timely payment. Some of them had verbally threatened the DDK officials of launching strikes demanding payment of their pending bills.Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar is scheduled to visit Guwahati later this month. The high officials of all DDKs in the region are planning to bring this issue to his notice. They suspect that the question of fund crunch and its hamstringing impact must not have been brought to the notice of the minister. Some officials told The Hindu that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers are paying special attention to the north-eastern states. If this matter is brought to the notice of Mr. Javedkar, it is likely to be reviewed.Courtesy The Hindu

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