The Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has earmarked an advertising expenditure of Rs. 78.01 crore (Rs 780.1 million) for television channels to promote its rural development policy ‘Bharat Nirman’.
Four English news channels – Times Now, NDTV, Headlines Today and CNN IBN – have garnered Rs. 9.6 million of ad revenue spilled over seven months, as per information provided by the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP).
CNN IBN has got the maximum amount while Headlines Today has got the least. The break-up of ad expenditure on the four channels is as follows: Rs. 3.07 million on CNN IBN, Rs. 2.5 million on NDTV, Rs. 2.46 million on Times Now, and Rs. 1.5 million on Headlines Today.
The government will spend a total of Rs. 185 crore (Rs 1.85 billion) for the fiscal ended 31 March 2014 to promote ‘Bharat Nirman’.
Of the Rs. 185 crore (Rs 1.85 billion), the government has committed Rs. 78.01 crore (Rs 780.1 million) for television channels to buy airtime and Rs. 12.04 crore (Rs 120.4 million) for production (of ad films).
The details about government’s expenditure on Bharat Nirman campaign have emerged following a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by media news portal NewsLaundry.com seeking expenditure details from DAVP.
The portal had also sought information about expenditure made on English news channels under the Bharat Nirman campaign.
As per the information provided by DAVP, the government has spent close to Rs. 9.6 million on the four English news channels from 1 April till 7 November.
Bharat Nirman was conceived by UPA government as a time bound business plan for development of rural infrastructure. To communicate the flagship programmes under Bharat Nirman, the government had devised a media outreach strategy called Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign to disseminate information to the targeted beneficiaries, particularly those in rural areas.