Some of our members and State Unit Coordinators have asked us to clarify whether AUPO members would be part of the call for Mass Casual Leave on 17th March 2010 to repeal Prasar Bharati Act.
AUPO is not a part of NFADE and participation in any activity would be on the basis of an objective stance on issues, depending on the larger interest of employees, the organisation and of course the interests of AUPO members.
As regards the NFADE demand to repeal Prasar Bharati, there are serious differences of opinion among the two main employees federations in Delhi. The Akashwani & Doordarshan Employees Federation (ADEF) which is made up of UADEE (Union of Akashwani and Doordarshan Engineering Employees), ADASA , and the Newscasters Association etc are opposing the repeal of the Prasar Bharati Act as they point out that Section 11 of the Prasar Bharati Act already gives existing government employees of Akashwani and Doordarshan the right to remain or opt out of Prasar Bharati. They have also presented us a detailed note wherein they have outlined repercussions of repealing the PB Act or amendment of Section 11 of the Act. ADEF cautions that the repeal of the Act /amendment of Section 11 will have adverse effect on judicial pronouncements in this regard and also inflict harmful effects on the service conditions of employees.
Many of the issues brought out by ADEF require detailed study. Further, the Ministry has failed to initiate vital portions of the Act . A Parliamentary Committee required to be set up under the Act by the Ministry (which in effect makes Prasar Bharati directly answerable to the Parliament instead of the Ministry of I&B ) has not been set up so far. Neither has the “Broadcasting Council” been set up. Prasar Bharati as a public broadcaster (autonomous and answerable to Parliament) is not supposed to generate its own finances. In the absence of the licensing fee envisaged under the Act, the funding is due to come from Government and cleared by Parliament. We also need to understand the status of Employees in Lok Sabha Secretariat/Lok Sabha Television; organisations with complete functional freedom like Supreme Court, Election Commission of India etc.
A decision to partake in any agitation/mass casual leave etc to repeal the Prasar Bharati Act can be taken by AUPO only after a careful deliberation of the matter and after
a) weighing the pros and cons , after a proper debate
b) after consultation with our own members
c) discussions with the two federations NFADE and ADEF on its divergent views.
Hence, if any AUPO member has submitted a casual leave application for the 17th, they are requested to withdraw it immediately.