New Delhi, Jan 15: The Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Friday slammed the NDTV news channel for erroneous and malafide news reporting regarding procurement of rice and demanded it retract the news whose sole purpose seemed to be that of spreading misinformation.
In a letter to NDTV’s Editorial Director and President Sonia Singh, Alpana Pant Sharma, Additional Director General of the PIB said, “In a shocking display of poor journalism and sheer disregard of actual facts, Ravish Kumar of NDTV has resorted to incorrectly portraying paddy procurement by the government.”
She said that the news was totally “misleading” and creates an impression that the procurement in the current year is lower as compared to last year.
Sharma further said that during a sensitive time wherein some farmers are protesting at the borders of the national capital, Kumar has misrepresented important facts. “This not only misleads our nation’s farmers but also incites negative sentiments in society,” she said.
Highlighting the facts, the PIB official said, it is confirmed that till January 10 last year of the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20, 423 lakh MT of paddy was procured. “Compared to the same period, 534 lakh MT of paddy was procured till January 10 this year by the central government during the current KMS. This shows that the increase till January 10 is indeed 26 per cent,” she said.
“Kumar’s report on your channel does an unfair comparison of full year procurement of 2019-20 with ongoing procurement of 2020-21,” she said.
She further stated that the infographic mentioned in the news clipping from the twitter handle of Union Minister Piyush Goyal has been cropped, which leads to the impression that this was a “malafide” act.
The officer also said that the news report further confused paddy figures and rice figures, wherein both are different. Rice is procured from paddy, and therefore, the figures in lakh MT of rice will always be lower than paddy.
The officer “strongly” asked the channel to retract the erroneous news report, whose sole purpose seems to be that of spreading misinformation. “It is requested that the correct information may please be broadcasted prominently in your news bulletin so that viewers are given correct information,” Sharma added.