I&B Ministry's baby Prasar Bharti is way over its head. Its grossly incapable of generating revenue for its sustenance.
The only way out is for the ministry to collect charity to keep the Doordarshan network afloat. So the govt is now tracing its footsteps back to the medieval ages when there were licences for Television, Radio, cycles etc.
The govt plans to introduce 'licence fee' of Rs.500 p.a on EVERY colour TV and Rs.200 p.a on EVERY black and white TV set in the country. Radio and television manufacturers are also going to be charged 10% licence fee. In all, the govt expects to draw in approximately Rs.24,000 crores from this licence fees. The revenue will be used to fund the hard pressed Prasar Bharti and towards the salaries of its 38,000 odd employees!!!
The basic question is how is the govt going to track down every single television set in the country?? The has to stand on its toes to collect the annual income tax that comes with such heavy penalty, how will it enforce such a licence fee??
The end result is clear. This will lead to another set of Govt babus being appointed. The kind which existed when a licence was required for every thing. There will be one Licence Inspector, some other guys under him who will go door to door harassing innocent people.
one another question that comes up is why Rs.500 p.a.??!!! when property tax is as low as Rs.2000-2500 p.a for an apartment in prime location in the capital, Rs.200 p.a for a dumb old black and white TV is simply outrageous!!
At an age of disinvestment and fierce open competition among private channels Doordarshan is pathetically lagging behind with shows like Stree.. teri kahani!!!!
Honestly i have no idea who watches the DD channels. People in the rural areas most definetly don't watch it. I don't watch it. That's one question most people will be asking. "who watches these channels?" There seems to be no sense in trying to maintain a channel that has no viewers and that too with public money!!!