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October 2017

RAJYA SABHA TV UNDER SCANNER



A month after assuming office, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has turned his attention on Rajya Sabha TV, and has asked for an audit of the channel.

Founded in 2008, Rajya Sabha TV is owned and operated by the Rajya Sabha and is supposed to cover the proceedings of the upper house of Parliament.

Naidu, who was formerly I&B minister, as the Vice President, is also Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.


LARGE EXPENSES!

Naidu has red-flagged the expenditure incurred by the channel on renting office premises, hiring cabs and producing a feature film.

Since its launch in August 2011, the channel has spent ₹ 375 crore i.e. ₹ 62.5 crore annually.






2 CR MONTHLY RENT

RSTV pays ₹ 25 crore as an annual rent to hire NDMC-owned premises in Talkatora Stadium. Naidu has directed RSTV to find out whether making a one-time investment and buying an office space would be more economical than spending ₹ 25 crore annually.


FILM PRODUCTION!

Naidu has also red-flagged an expenditure of ₹ 12.5 crore - spent on producing a film 'Raag Desh', directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and released in July this year.


ON CLOSE WATCH

The BJP does not yet have a majority in the Upper House, and has accused the TV channel of not providing appropriate publicity to the BJP government's events and schemes.

Soon after Naidu assumed office, the Rajya Sabha secretariat replaced Gurdeep Singh Sappal with Prasar Bharati chief executive Shashi Shekhar Vempati as chief of Rajya Sabha TV.

RSTV has now been asked to explore a contentsharing arrangement Prasar Bharati. n