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AIR, DD staff protest for benefits

November 30, 2004 14:04 IST
All India Radio and Doordarshan employees, affiliated to National Federation of Akashvani and Doordarshan, are holding a day-long demonstration in Mumbai on Tuesday, protesting the "denial" of benefits given to government employees.

"We are posted on deemed deputation under the service of Prasar Bharati but at the same time denied benefits of government employees, namely accommodation and health services which were earlier available", M Mahendraraj, zonal secretary (high powered transmission), All India Radio said.

The fund position of Prasar Bharati is shrinking and it is currently receiving Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) as grant-in-aid as against the actual need of Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion), he said.

"In fact, the grant-in-aid is also being restricted," he lamented adding, "We demand the funding for Prasar Bharati to be made from the consolidated fund of the government of India to ensure real autonomy to the public broadcaster."

The protesters were holding demonstrations outside the Doordarshan Kendra at Worli in central Mumbai. Before Prasar Bharati came into existence five years ago, both AIR and Doordarshan used to get financial resources from consolidated fund of government of India, he said.

Asked whether the sit-in strike would affect normal functioning of both organisations, zonal chairman of AIR and DD, M P Joshi said, "We are not obstructing the functioning of the organisation and therefore, all the 1,000 employees are not sitting at one time but in rotation after or before their shifts," he added.

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