Report Without Fear- BBC Director-General Tim to Scribes

LONDON: “I’d like to be clear: the BBC does not have an agenda – we are driven by purpose,” BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in an email to staff asking them to report fearlessly. His statement followed searches by Indian tax authorities at BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.

“Nothing is more important than our ability to report without fear or favour,” BBC reported. He added, “Our duty to our audiences around the world is to pursue the facts through independent and impartial journalism, and to produce and distribute the very best creative content. We won’t be put off from that task.”

A slueth of IT men held ‘surveys’ at the New Delhi and Mumbai offices of the broadcaster last week and accused them of tax irregularities.

The so called searches came weeks after a massive controversy over BBC’s documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the riots in Gujarat that broke out in 2002. The two-part series that was aired by BBC–“India: The Modi Question” was taken down from public platforms last month.

“The survey revealed that despite substantial consumption of content in various Indian languages (apart from English), the income/profits shown by various group entities are not commensurate with the scale of operations in India. During the course of the survey, the department gathered several evidences pertaining to the operation of the organization which indicate that tax has not been paid on certain remittances which have not been disclosed as income in India by the foreign entities of the group,” the income tax department accused.

The department added that crucial evidence by way of statements of employees, digital evidence and documents will be further examined in due course.

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