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APNS urges Solangi to facilitate hike in govt ads rates

By News Desk
September 12, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) urged Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi on Monday to facilitate the process of an increase in the government advertisement rates of newspapers, which is long pending.

According to a press release issued here, APNS Secretary General Sarmad Ali informed the information minister at a dinner reception, held for the society executive committee, that the previous government of Shehbaz Sharif had announced an increase of 35 per cent in the advertisement rates, but it could not be notified due to early dissolution of the National Assembly. He stated that the summary of the Ministry of Information was pending at the Cabinet Division for approval of the cabinet. He requested the minister to place the summary at the next meeting of the federal cabinet for its approval.

The minister explained in detail the vision of the caretaker government and assured that it would safeguard interests of the media and protect freedom of press in the country. He promised that the Ministry of Information would expedite the process of notification of the rate increase at the earliest.

Earlier, a meeting of the executive committee was held on Sept 9, 2023 at Islamabad, with APNS President Mrs. Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani in the chair.

The committee members expressed their grave concern that despite various assurances by the last governments, the dues had not yet been paid against the advertisements released to the print media. The members noted that in Punjab and Sindh, the governments had not paid the dues related to SPL advertisements and non-budgeted advertisements respectively, which caused a serious liquidity crisis for newspapers to meet their expenses. The members from the KP province pointed out that for last two years, the payment of print media accumulated to one billion rupees had not been made by the Department of Public Relations, despite the reconciliation of dues. The executive committee decided that a delegation of the APNS, headed by the society president, would meet the governments concerned for the release of the payment without any delay.

The executive committee also noted that due to a ban on development activities by the Election Commission, the quantum of advertisements to newspapers had been drastically affected. It was also decided that the Election Commission be requested to lift the ban on developmental advertisements.

The executive committee adopted the report of the advertising committee on the application of advertising agencies and granted provisional accreditation to M/s. Brain Tree Advertising, Lahore, M/s. Mesh Media (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore and M/s. Mindread Advertising (Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi.

The executive committee also granted appeal of Daily Shamal, Karachi and Monthly Sathee, Karachi for restoration of membership. The executive committee approved the restructuring of M/s. Kenad (Pvt.) Ltd.

The following society members attended the meeting:

Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani, president, Imtinan Shahid, sr. vice president, Sarmad Ali, secretary general, S.M. Munir Jilani, joint secretary, Syed Sajjad Bokhani (Daily Abtak), Mohsin Seyal (Daily Aftab), Waseem Ahmed (Daily Awam, Quetta), Mohsin Bilal (Daily Ausaf), Ansar Mahmood Bhatti (Monthly Centre Line), Fauzia Shaheen (Monthly Dastak), Muhammad Waqaruddin (Daily Dunya), Bilal Mahmood (Weekly Family), Muhammad Younus Mehar (Daily Halchal), Javed Mehr Shamsi (Daily Kaleem), Syed Ayaz Badshah (Daily Mashriq, Peshawar), Syed Mumtaz Ahmed Shah (Daily Mashriq, Quetta), Tahir Qureshi, Monthly Naey Ufaq), Naveed Sheikh (Daily Nau Sijj), Rukhsana Saulat Saleemi (Weekly Nikhar), Naveed Akram Niazi (Monthly Naya Rukh), Faisal Zahid Malik (Daily Pakistan Observer), Khushnood Ali Khan (Daily Sahafat), Hamayun Gulzar (Daily Sayadat), and Jamil Athar (Daily Tijarat).

Imran Ather (Daily Jurrat, Lahore) and Rahman Athar (Daily The Business, Lahore) attended as special observers.