Ads of any newspaper and TV channel not stopped, says Kaira
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Thursday categorically said that the government had not stopped advertisements of any newspaper or television channel. The minister said this during a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee for Information and Broadcasting held here with Belum Hasnain in the chair. "The present democratic government has not stopped advertisements of any newspaper during the last four and a half years. Instead it has provided conducive atmosphere to the media to flourish as we believe in the freedom of press" he said. Kaira said that according to the Rules of Business 1973, the ministry was responsible for the policy regarding government advertisements. He said that the government issued advertisements to the national as well as regional newspapers keeping in view their circulation.
He said that the quota of 25 per cent of the total advertisements was required to be allocated to the regional papers.
Advertisements are released primarily on the basis of circulation, value and standing of the publications in order to obtain maximum publicity for the departments / organizations, he added.
Kaira said that the government was committed to ensure collective welfare of the journalists and provide them protection so that they could perform their professional duties in the best manner.
He also asked the members of the committee to guide the government and devise a strategy to provide security to the journalist community. " I am ready to implement whatsoever recommended by the committee regarding the security of the journalists", he added.
The minister said the whole country was facing terrorism and all would have to fight this mindset with unity. Kaira said that there was a dire need to promote the culture of tolerance in the country.
On the suggestion of the committee to ban commercials of foreign actors in the country, the minister said that the issue was in the court and it would be better to wait for the decision.
However, he agreed with the members of the committee that local culture should be promoted as the country was rich in the heritage. Kaira said that at many forums it was conveyed to the Indian government that the Pakistan government was allowing their channels and films to operate while they were not reciprocating.
The minister said that Pakistan was a responsible country and due to this strategy relations with India had improved. He said that the ministry had no secret funds and all the funds allocated for the ministry were reflected in the budget document.
About the Radio Pakistan, the minister said that radio throughout the world was not a profit earning entity. He said that talks are underway with provinces to deduct fee for radio on the registration of new vehicles. The minister also informed the committee that the opposition was also being given proper coverage on the Pakistan Television.
He said that the PTV was inviting opposition leadership in the talk shows.
Kaira said that the performance of press attaches deputed in foreign countries was satisfactory. Managing Director of the Pakistan Television Yousaf Baig Mirza briefed the committee on the functioning of the organization. He said that Turkey, China, Afghanistan and Iran were purchasing PTV dramas.
Director General of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Ghulam Murtaza Solangi informed the committee that Radio was facing financial issue. He said that the radio would also install a satellite system, after which its programmes would be listened in around 120 countries.