DD loses over Rs 2.4 million due to faulty record of FCT: CAG

DD initiated action in March last year for recovery of Rs 2.05 million against the total Rs 2.41 million due to it for giving excess free commercial time sponsors of two different programmes in November 2004 and early 2006.

However, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has observed that though the public broadcaster had raised the bills after it was pointed out that the FCT ledger was not being kept correctly, Doordarshan irregularly allowed 15 per cent commission.

Under the provisions of the Rate Card, the commission can only be allowed if the agency pays the dues within the stipulated time of 45 days from the first of the month following the date of broadcast.

The CAG says it referred the issue to the Information and broadcasting Ministry in June last year but no reply had been received till November.

Under the Rate Card, FCT is the time allowed by Doordarshan for commercial advertisements to the sponsors without charging any fee, and this is bankable up to 100 per cent anytime during the same programme subject to the limits specified in the Card. To ensure the advertising agencies do not use excess FCT, Doordarshan Commercial Service maintains an FCT Ledger indicating the progressive banked FCT available at the credit of each proper and its utilization.

Audit of a particular programme showed that the Ledger did not have the correct details of the FCT allowed and used, and therefore the correctness of the banked FCT was not ascertainable at any point of time. CAG which reconstructed the Ledger found that at the end of the 48th episode of the programme telecast in November 2004, the producer had availed an excess of 310 seconds of excess FCT, resulting in a loss of Rs 1.87 million.

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In the case of another programme, the FCT utilized by the producer in five episodes telecast in February-March 2006 was not recorded or was short recorded in the Ledger. The producer had actually used 1245 seconds of FDCT in these episodes against the credit of 880 seconds at the end of the 325th episode in September 2006. This resulted in the producer being granted excess FCT of 365 seconds resulting in a loss of Rs 5,48,000 at the prescribed rate.

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