Broadcasting ministry at arm’s-length from Prasar Bharati: Tewari

New Delhi: The I&B ministry has an arm’s-length relationship with Prasar Bharati and the public broadcaster’s autonomy is guaranteed by an act of parliament, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said here Saturday.

“My attention has been drawn to the news reports which have appeared in the press. I have stated earlier and allow me to attribute and reiterate that the autonomy of Prasar Bharati is guaranteed by an act of parliament. It is an organisation run by a board and the ministry has an arm’s-length relationship with it,” Tewari told the media.

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His comment came after Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar acknowledged in a letter Friday that certain portions of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s interview to Doordarshan “were apparently edited”.

Sircar, also pointed a finger at Manish Tewari in the letter for failing to grant the public broadcaster “operational autonomy” that it has been seeking for years.

Tewari said it was at his initiative that the Sam Pitroda committee was constituted to examine and look into the government’s relations with Prasar Bharati.

“It was I who had suggested that the relations between Prasar Bharati and the government should be same as the finance ministry has with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and its budget should be appropriated through the Consolidated Fund of India rather than routed through the ministry,” Tewari said.