The State-run broadcaster, the National Communications Network (NCN) on Tuesday defended its decision to write-off a million debt owed by one Merundoi Inc, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).Bish PandayMerundoi is headed by Margaret Lawrence, who is also a serving member on the NCN Board of Directors.NCN in defending its decision, highlighted that a proposal from the NGO was submitted way back in 2012 which suggested that it make available the production content of Merundoi for to the State broadcaster, with the NGO paying 50 per cent of the normal broadcast charges and NCN absorbing the remaining 50 per cent.“NCN did not respond favourably or otherwise to the proposal but collected the 50 per cent broadcast fees and aired the programme. In 2014, NCN instituted court proceedings against Merundoi for the 50 per cent of broadcast charges, and the matter engaged the court,” the broadcaster stated.Maggie LawrenceIt added that on April 4, Merundoi made a proposal to pay $250,000, while allowing NCN access to some 500 episodes from two previous seasons of the Radio Serial Drama, as well as a collaboration to produce a TV Sitcom “Cheap and Sweet”, the pilot of which it had submitted to NCN since 2012.“At a special meeting on April 7th, 2016, the Board unanimously agreed to accept the offer. Ms Lawrence was not part of the meeting. In arriving at the decision, the Board took account of, among other things, the fact that Merundoi is an NGO, it is not for profit, and it was willing to make the programme content available to NCN and to collaborate on the production of a local TV Sitcom,” the NCN said in its defence.It also dismissed as untrue and erroneous media reports which said that the Board’s decision was not unanimous. The State broadcaster also announced that it remains ready to engage other defaulting customers in order to settle outstanding debts outside of the courts.The decision to write-off the Merino’s debt comes mere days after a forensic audit report into the company’s operations suggested that NCN should establish a debt collection committee with specific responsibility to collect all outstanding debts within six months.Based on the audit report, as at May 2015, the company was owed some $230 million by various advertisers, including Merundoi.Merundoi’s debt was twelfth on a list of the top 20 outstanding balances.Impression’s printing is leading the list with a whopping $17.5 million, followed by the Health Ministry with $11.7 million and the People’s Progressive Party which owes a combined $14.8 million.Also on the list is the Tourism Industry and Commerce Ministry (now the Tourism Ministry).It is unclear if the Board of Directors are contemplating write-offs for other clients, similar to what was offered to Merundoi.