APNS to launch cam­paign to high­lights pa­pers prob­lems

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL - KARACHI—“

The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of the APNS dis­mayed the con­sis­tent in­dif­fer­ence of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to ad­dress long stand­ing prob­lems of the news­pa­per in­dus­try and de­cided to launch an ad­ver­tise­ment cam­paign to high­light is­sues for pub­lic aware­ness and seek the at­ten­tion of the Prime Min­is­ter for res­o­lu­tion of the prob­lems at the ear­li­est.

Ma­sood Hamid, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, APNS an­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion of the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee meet­ing held un­der the chair­man­ship of Sar­mad Ali, Pres­i­dent stated that the mem­bers of the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee across the coun­try, con­sid­ered the cri­sis faced by the in­dus­try due to the fail­ure of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in ad­dress­ing the is­sues. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee in a spe­cial res­o­lu­tion, noted with grave con­cern that not only the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has paid no heed to var­i­ous re­quests by the APNS for pay­ment of out­stand­ing dues re­lat­ing to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ad­ver­tise­ments for the pe­riod 20082012, pay­ment of the dues re­lat­ing to the de­volved min­istries, out­stand­ing against the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue as well as the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion.

The APNS has time and again made pre­sen­ta­tions for which, many as­sur­ances were made by no less than the Fed­eral Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion and Fed­eral Fi­nance Min­is­ter but the Gov­ern­ment has also failed to honor its com­mit­ments. The APNS noted that the 10% an­nual in­crease in ad­ver­tise­ment tar­iff rates of news­pa­pers and in­crease in the quan­tum of ads to re­gional and Metro B pub­li­ca­tions was also pend­ing for no­ti­fi­ca­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion. It was ob­served that the present Ad­ver­tise­ment Pol­icy has fur­ther re­duced the quan­tum of ads which has badly af­fected the economies of small and medium sized pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing re­gional lan­guage pub­li­ca­tions. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee noted that the cur­rent dues of ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies re­lated to the ads pub­lished in mem­ber pub­li­ca­tions were also not be­ing paid by the AGPR with friv­o­lous and base­less ob­jec­tions.

The ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies have in­formed the APNS that the AGPR has re­fused to en­ter­tain the sanc­tions of pay­ment by dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and min­istries on the plea that the Supreme Court had stayed the pay­ments of ad­ver­tise­ment bills. The AGPR has re­fused to ac­cept that the Supreme Court had not only va­cated the stay but the case was al­to­gether dis­missed on July 08, 2013. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee noted that AGPR in an un­prece­dented and highly ob­jec­tion­able move, had re­strained the cheque branch of the AGPR that all the bills re­lat­ing to me­dia groups / ad­ver­tise­ments, should not be en­ter­tained with­out the ap­proval of the Ac­coun­tant Gen­eral.

This be­hav­ior of the AGPR is not only dam­ag­ing the news­pa­per in­dus­try but also badly af­fect­ing the Gov­ern­ment – Press re­la­tions. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee also noted with alarm a cir­cu­lar is­sued by NAB to var­i­ous de­part­ments and min­istries re­gard­ing ad­ver­tise­ments in news­pa­pers and con­sid­ered this cir­cu­lar be­yond the man­date of NAB and as another at­tempt by the bu­reau­cracy to dam­age gov­ern­ment press re­la­tions. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee was of the view that the bu­reau­cracy in form of AGPR and NAB are de­lib­er­ately dam­ag­ing the cor­dial re­la­tions be­tween the press and the gov­ern­ment to serve their ne­far­i­ous de­signs.

It asked the Prime Min­is­ter to take im­me­di­ate no­tice of such ill de­signs. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee de­cided to launch an ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign in its mem­ber pub­li­ca­tions in the first week of Jan­uary 2014 to high­light the dire state of the news­pa­per in­dus­try which will be fol­lowed by sus­pen­sion of all Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ad­ver­tise­ments and a protest strike to urge upon the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to act and re­solve the prob­lems of the news­pa­pers in­dus­try at the ear­li­est as the sit­u­a­tion has threat­ened the very sur­vival of many small and medium sized news­pa­pers. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee also noted that the Press In­for­ma­tion Depart­ment was re­leas­ing ad­ver­tise­ments with­out statu­tory al­lo­ca­tion of 25% quota for re­gional pub­li­ca­tions.

It was also pointed out that cer­tain Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments were re­leas­ing their ads di­rectly with­out rout­ing through the PID to avoid ad­di­tions. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee de­cided that af­ter De­cem­ber 31, 2013, the ads re­leased with­out ad­di­tion of 25% quota and / or the PID Num­ber, would be pub­lished on tar­iff rates of pub­li­ca­tions only. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Ad­ver­tis­ing Com­mit­tee for Re­struc­tur­ing / Change of Sta­tus of M/s. Me­di­a­tors (Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi and M/s. Prometheus (Pvt.) Ltd. It also ap­proved Pro­vi­sional Ac­cred­i­ta­tion of M/s. Su­per Me­dia Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Is­lam­abad and M/s. Pre­lude Ad­ver­tis­ing, Karachi. The ac­cred­i­ta­tion of M/s. X Nine Com­mu­ni­ca­tion ( Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi was con­firmed w.e.f. Jan­uary 01, 2014. The Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee also con­sid­ered the ap­pli­ca­tions for change of pub­lish­ers of Monthly Akhbar-e- Watan, Karachi, Daily Pas­ban, Hy­der­abad and Daily Fory Ac­tion, Faisal­abad and ap­proved the change of pub­lish­ers of pub­li­ca­tions.

The meet­ing was at­tended by the fol­low­ing: Sar­mad Ali, Pres­i­dent, Ma­sood Hamid, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Waseem Ahmed, Fi­nance Sec­re­tary, Mum­taz A. Tahir (D/Aftab), Me­htab Khan (D/Ausaf), Syed Fa­seih Iqbal (D/Balochis­tan Times), Sha­hab Zu­beri (D/Busi­ness Recorder), Hu­mayon Tariq (D/Busi­ness Re­port), Ai­jaz-ul-Haq (D/Ex­press), Mukhtar Aqil (D/Ju­rat, Khi), Javed Mehr Shamsi (D/ Kaleem), Muham­mad As­lam Kazi (D/Kaw­ish, Hyd.), Mian Ak­bar Ali (D/Khabrain), Ab­bas Ab­dul Latif (D/Nawa-i-Waqt), Sal­man Qureshi ( M/ Naya Rukh), Umar Mu­jib Shami (D/ Pak­istan, Lhr), Faisal Zahid Ma­lik (D/Pak­istan Ob­server), Ilyas Shakir (D/Qaumi Akhbar), Dr. Waqar Yousuf Azeemi (M/ Roohani Digest), Khush­nood Ali Khan ( D/ Sa­hafat), Hu­mayun Gulzar (D/Saya­dat, Bahawalpur), Riaz Ahmed Mansuri (M/The Crick­eter) and Prof. S.B. Hasan (M/In­vest­ment & Mar­ket­ing).—PR

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