NBA urges Javadekar to announce stimulus package; clear outstanding dues
News Broadcasters Association (NBA), President, Rajat Sharma has written to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) Prakash Javadekar regarding stimulus package for news broadcasters relating to Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC)/DAVP advertisements and outstanding dues of the member news broadcasters of the NBA.
The unprecented crisis of Covid-19 has put finances of news broadcasters under severe stress. Second order effects of the virus such as social distancing have resulted in news broadcasters investing in safety/hygiene measures to assure the safety of their editorial staff at the office and outside the office premises for news gathering purposes. This has resulted in higher fixed operating costs for news broadcasters as compared to others.
Due to weak economy and slump in demand, advertising agencies are putting huge pressure to defer the payments to broadcasters and to allow more time over and above the 60 days credit period. Rajat Sharma states that "recovery of bills during this period is going to be hugely challenging, while facing an even bigger task of almost zero or negligible income in the coming several months."
Advertising inventory/ release orders are being cancelled and even the top rated channels sold only up to 50% of their inventory capacity.
To overcome this financial crisis, NBF has requested MoI&B to announce a stimulus package for the broadcast media.
(1) Increase the rates of BOC/DAVP advertisements by 50%;
(2) Substantial increase in budgetary allocations of all Ministries/ Departments and organizations of the Govt. of India for dissemination of information/communication relating to COVID 19 pandemic by BOAC/DAVP through private satellite TV channels for its widest reach to all sections of the society.
The NBA has also requested MoI&B to clear outstanding dues of BOC/DAVP pending since 2010. These dues amount to Rs ~64.5 Crores. The outstanding dues for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) as reported by the members is approximately Rs 8.6 Crores.