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November 19, 2019

Senate panel decides to review PBC Act


November 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday, while discussing the changing dynamics of the present age, decided that the PBC Act needed to be looked into again.

The committee directed the ministry to come up with proposed amendments: removing obsolete features and, including new provisions for the digital age. The forum had its meeting here at the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Headquarters with its chairman Senator Faisal Javed of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the chair.

The committee was told that the PBC was making a work plan to shift from analog to digital system and the requisite funding needed for the complete overhaul was Rs04 billion. The committee appreciated the proposal and assured of its support in carrying out this major transformation in the system.

The committee discussed in detail matters related to outstanding commutation dues to be paid to pensioners and the corporation being heavily overstaffed. Members of the Committee were of the view that when the corporation was going in loss, there was no rationale behind having 2,451 employees.

The forum was informed that the PBC had to pay Rs167 million per month as salaries, pensions and commutations, but it had a budget of Rs127 million per month, which was causing the delay.

To this, the Committee chairman observed that PBC was in dire need of a well thought out business plan under which it could operate efficiently. PBC was directed to come up with rationale of its administrative and financial conditions as well as a proposal to turn the corporation into a profitable organisation.

The panel took strong notice of unavailability of clear transmission of its medium wave station at 585KH in different parts of the country. The committee chairman remarked that transmission of VOA and other broadcasters could be heard clearly despite the fact that they were operating outside Pakistan.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Senators Tahir Bizenjo, Syed Sabir Shah, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Maulana Attaur Rehman, Rubina Khalid, Sajjad Turi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Secretary Information and Broadcasting, DG Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and senior officials from the corporation.

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