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December 9, 2018

Ministry disputes APNS, PBA claims on ads dues

National

December 9, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Federal Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shafqat Jalil met Sarmad Ali, General Secretary All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Saturday in Karachi and conveyed his concern over a statement issued by the APNS and Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA) relating to figures pertaining to advertisement dues.

The figures issued by APNS and PBA are disputed, he conveyed, says a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting here. Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, he said, had been critical of the use of advertisements as a tool to influence media by the previous governments. He emphasised that the present government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to a policy of equitable and fair distribution of government advertisements. The federal government, he noted, was clearing payments of Rs320 million while another estimated Rs180 million was being processed for payments. As for the outstandings pertaining to the Punjab government payments of nearly Rs150m would be made shortly.

Shafqat Jalil informed Sarmad Ali that to find a permanent solution to the issue of release of the government advertisements a Draft Advertisement Policy had been circulated among stakeholders including PBA and APNS.

The government was committed to freedom of expression and supported the media industry. Any proposal to help media industry in their ease of doing business would be given serious consideration by the federal government, he assured him.

When APNS Secretary General Sarmad Ali was contacted, he said that the figures issued by the APNS and PBA were accurate, adding that both the organisations stand by their claims.