Centre Owes Rs 200 Crore to Media Organisations for Ads, Reveals RTI Query

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Rs 147 crore is pending to Print Media alone

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — An RTI enquiry has revealed that the central government owes more than Rs 200 crore to media houses as pending payment with regards to the government advertisement.

Rs 147 crore is pending to Print Media alone, said the response to the RTI filed by Aniket Gaurav, a law student from Meerut. It is 67 crore for electronic media and 18 crore for outdoor campaigns.

According to The HinduMore than 76,000 bills for payment to print media for government campaigns are pending with the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), one bill is dated as far back as 2004.

Gaurav filed an RTI query after he grew concerned over the number of newspapers getting shut off late.

“As a reader, I feel that the major reason for any newspaper shutting down would be because of loss of revenue. As government ads constitute a large part of revenue, I thought I should find out whether the government is paying for its ads on time, and which Ministries have unpaid bills,” he told The Hindu. “I was shocked to find that there are ads which have not been paid for 17 years.”

The response that came from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting showed data on the outstanding bills that central ministries over to the DAVP, the body that in turn pays to media organisations for publishing government advertisements.

The Defence Ministry owes the largest amount with Rs 16 crore against 12,271 bills followed by the Finance Ministry, with 6,668 unpaid bills worth ₹13 crores as on 21 July 2021.

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