New Delhi, Sept. 27: Prasar Bharti CEO Jawhar Sircar has accused the Centre of “severely encroaching” upon the public broadcaster’s autonomy and trying to “micromanage” it.
The Bengal cadre retired IAS officer made the accusations in a letter sent yesterday to information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari. The communication refers to “pin pricks”, “incessant probes/questions” and “insulting letters” from the ministry.
“We can’t remember a single positive support Prasar Bharati has receivedů the constant refrain is that it eats 85 per cent of the ministry’s budget,” the letter says, alluding to Tewari’s alleged remarks.
The trigger was a letter from joint secretary Abha Shukla to Sircar on whether a plan to inaugurate four Hindi channels had the board’s approval. Sircar criticised Shukla for doing Tewari’s bidding and said the officer had a “half-baked understanding of Prasar Bharati”.
Asked about the letter, Sircar said today he had “been facing these issues for a long time”. “Things have come to such a pass that we need to raise a voice.” Tewari couldn’t be reached for comment in spite of repeated attempts.