The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Wednesday fired Managing Director of the National Film Development Corporation Nina Lath Gupta for alleged irregularities and for not following “prescribed procedures” while running the government company.
The ministry asked Gupta to leave “with immediate effect”, without letting her serve the three months’ notice period. It instead decided to pay her three months’ salary, The Indian Express quoted unidentified officials as saying.
“The president has approved the termination of her services as managing director of the NFDC,” an official from the Department of Personnel and Training told the newspaper.
The report quoted unidentified officials as saying that the ministry’s primary reason for firing Gupta was that the National Film Development Corporation was charging high commissions to conduct government events.
Gupta also allegedly released advertisements to a few private channels beyond the 5% limit prescribed in the Electronic Media Policy. Under her charge, the National Film Development Corporation is also accused of not refunding a 15% commission to ministries that issue advertisements through it. She also allegedly did not follow the process of using funds to restore films, the Hindustan Times reported.
Gupta has not yet responded to the action against her.
I&B Ministry vs Prasar Bharti
Meanwhile, differences cropped up again between the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Prasar Bharati, this time over payments to a private firm that covered the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 International Film Festival of India, The Indian Express reported.
Doordarshan, which functions under the Prasar Bharati, has refused to pay Rs 2.92 crore to Mumbai-based SOL Productions Pvt Ltd, which arranged for live coverage of the ceremonies, the report said. The national broadcaster is believed to have refused to make the payment despite repeated demands from the National Film Development Corporation, which falls under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Doordarshan’s objection is that there was “no rationale nor any precedent” to outsource the coverage when they had the “in-house” capability to telecast ceremonies live.
The ministry has been at odds with the Prasar Bharati over its autonomy to recruit and fire employees.