Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting Tuesday stressed that steps should be taken to revive financial health of Pakistan Television (PTV) and ensure payment of pending dues of its retired pensioners and present employees. The committee took a briefing from PTV Managing Director Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera about the affairs and working of PTV.
Senators Mushtaq Ahmed, Dr Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Sabir Shah, Rubina Khalid, Faisal Javed and Khushbakht Shujat attended the meeting. Sukhera, who also holds the post of Secretary Information and Broadcasting assured the committee that on grant of funds by the government the pension liabilities and medical bills of employees would be cleared. Otherwise, in coming weeks, PTV would divest its investment in National Investment Trust to get Rs70 million and pay some of the pension and commutation money owed to its retired employees, he added.
He said PTV sports channel was earning revenue by telecasting live sports events including cricket tournaments of ICC, tennis grand slams and specialized programmes on football, squash, cricket, hockey, women sports and nutrition. In future, PTV had planned to telecast ICC cricket, Pakistan Super League and FIFA World Cup which would earn the channel substantial revenue, he added.
He told that presently PTV had channels of News, World, Sports, Global and Home and reorganization of the channel was continuing to streamline its operations. A new channel PTV Parliament would be launched soon to cover the proceedings of the Senate, National Assembly and standing committees. PTV also planned to air content for children according to Pakistani society’s culture and values.
He said PTV lacked funds to improve its in house production and upgrade its equipment and studios. Sukhera informed that power distribution companies, Federal Board of Revenue and government clients still had to pay more than Rs5 billion to PTV under the head of licence fees, refunds and advertisement bills. He said departments working under Ministry of Information including PTV, Radio Pakistan, APP, Press Information Department and Cyber Wing had increase their presence on the social media websites; Facebook and Twitter to maximize its viewership.
His ministry worked to promote image of Pakistan and counter the anti-Pakistan propaganda, he added. The committee members discussed measures to ensure neutrality of the state television. The MD told that PTV had invited 1,454 government as well as 2510 opposition politicians to its talk shows and gave proper coverage to members of the government and opposition in the Parliament.—APP