Prasar Bharti Rejected Smriti Irani's Top Editorial Picks Due To Exorbitant Compensation Demands
The country’s public service broadcaster on Thursday turned down a proposal by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry to hire two senior journalists on top editorial posts at Prasar Bharati, reports The Wire.
Journalists Siddharth Zarabi and Abhijit Majumder had been shortlisted by the Information and Broadcast Ministry for the Head of TV News in Doordarshan and chief editor at the Prasar Bharati News Service respectively. But the compensation that the I&B Ministry demanded was exorbitant, to say the least.
Who are they?
Siddharth Zarabi is the executive editor of Business TV. Abhijit Majumdar is the Editor of Mail Today. Abhijeet Majumdar has been quite vocal about his support for the current government. Recently, he shared fake news on Twitter regarding Kasganj violence.
Board rejects their appointment
The board refused to clear their appointment because of the “unjustifiable compensation” suggested by the I&B ministry, a member of the Prasar Bharati board told The Wire.
The ministry had fixed an annual compensation of Rs 1 crore (Rs 8.3 lakh per month) for Zarabi and Rs 75 lakh (Rs 6.25 lakh per month) for Majumder, reported The Wire.
The highest compensation paid to contract employees of Prasar Bharati is Rs 1.6 lakh per month. One of the Board members said that because of such a hefty compensation they cannot be appointed.
The board also rejected the appointed of an IAS officer as a ‘member’. The Board rules state that a ‘member’ is a full-time post and cannot be filled by the I&B Ministry. Yet, the I&B Ministry requested them to make an exception.
“The proposal mooted by the I&B ministry was dropped. The chairman and members took strong exception to the wording of the resolution. They also said provisions of the Prasar Bharati Act would be violated and the office of the vice president would be denigrated,” The Hindu quoted the meeting minutes.