42pc power users to get exemption
ISLAMABAD – Almost 42 per cent of electricity consumers, using 100 or less than 100 units, have been exempted from TV licence fee. Out of the remaining consumers, only those having TV sets will have to pay the license fee at the rate of Rs25 per month, said Secretary Information and Chairman PTV Syed Anwer Mehmood.
There are 7.5 million (approximately) electricity consumers in the country, out of whom 3.15 million would get the benefit of exemption, he added. Briefing media persons, the official said there were certain misconceptions about the collection of the fee by Wapda.
If anybody does not have a TV set and he is consuming more than 100 units, he can get exemption by filing an application with the concerned Wapda or KESC office. To a question, he said PTV had signed an agreement with Wapda for the collection of the license fee and out of the total revenue collected, 20 per cent would go to Wapda.
The official said PTV was expecting Rs1.9 billion revenue with this new arrangement. Through this exercise, he added, PTV would get a complete information about the number of TV sets.
“We will later carry out inspections to confirm the declarations filed by the people and if somebody files wrong declaration, he will be charged 20 times more fee,” he added.
The secretary said earlier experience to collect fee through contractors had failed due to their ineffectiveness and corruption. “We had awarded contract for the year 2003-2004 to nine companies for as many zones. Now all the contractors have filed appeals that they could not collect the fee,” he said.
He said according to a Gallup survey there were almost 11.7 million TV sets in the country but the bid we received for the year ending this June was for 2.6 million sets. The contractors succeeded in issuing only 1.6 million licenses.
The secretary said PTV’s yearly expenditure was Rs3.30 billion while its earnings were Rs2 billion. “There is a need to compensate the loss and hopefully the new arrangement will help fill the gap,” he said.
Justifying the levy of license fee, Mr Mehmood said PTV was a state broadcaster with social responsibilities. We are operating 48 non-commercial TV boasters spending Rs10 million to provide PTV’s signals to remote areas.