Anchored well in PTV -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Anchored well in PTV

Ahmad Hassan

ISLAMABAD: Anchors of private television channels command fabulous salaries proportionate to the ratings they earn for their channel. But it seems that those working for the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) have to worry about something other than ratings or qualification.

That could be the only explanation for a PTV anchor, whose graduation degree is suspect, if not worse, and he is still earning Rs300,000 per month while his better educated colleagues are being paid about one-tenth of that amount.

And this glaring disparity is official.

Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan however defended the disparity as she told Dawn “These appointments are made by the PTV’s board of directors, headed by the managing director (MD), on the basis of market value of individuals and not educational qualification alone and that the minister has nothing to do with these appointments”.

The information provided by her in a written reply under “unstirred questions” during question hour in the National Assembly on Friday was however stunning. Most of these appointments, according to the PTV’s old staffers were made on political grounds and not merit and there was serious resentment among them on this question.

MNA Maulvi Agha Mohammad had sought the detail of PTV anchors along with their qualification and perks.

The minister’s reply revealed that Shoaib Bhutta whose BA degree was marked with the words “confirmation awaited”, is
earning a handsome monthly package of Rs300,000 a month whereas the lowest salary-getting individual, Rafique Ghauri, with qualification of masters (MA) is anchoring the programme ‘Pakistan ban raha tha’ and gets only Rs31,571 a month.

According to details, Dr Moeed Pirzada who holds an MSc degree from Columbia University and MSc from London School of Economics along with an MBBS degree, and has switched over from a private channel, is doing a programme thrice a week and is getting Rs750,000. Syed Anwarul Hassan hailing from Kohat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is receiving Rs335,000 per month with his masters in journalism degree from Gomal University.

Other anchors include Samina Waqar who (according to written reply was not doing any job at all) receives Rs125,000 per month. Saadia Afzaal, a BA degree holder is getting Rs360,00. Waheed Hussain with masters in mass communication, master in English and MPhil degree receives Rs325,000. Khanum Tayyeba Bokhari with MA Arabic, MA Persian and MA Islamic Studies degrees (who anchors a programme special to a certain sect) gets Rs375,000. Noorul Haris who comes from Sindh
with CA (Inter) degree receives Rs300,000. Mazhar Barlas with MSc mass communication and MA Urdu gets Rs250,000.

Khursheed Nadeem holding MA Political Science degree earns Rs175,000. Azam Khalil with MA English and a degree in speech writing who does only four programmes in a month is getting Rs200,000 plus Rs50,000 a month for extra
programmes and Shakeel Gilani with LLB and MSc mass communication degree is earning Rs150,000 per month.

Other anchors with smaller emoluments include; Imran Mir – Rs74,000; Tanzeela Mazhar – Rs70,000; Tarangil Singh holding CAT,BA,ACCA degrees gets Rs68,000 and Saifullah Khan, a BSc degree holder is getting Rs30,000 per month.

Background interviews revealed that most of the above mentioned highly paid anchors, in fact, are having strong political cults working more than their qualification and ratings for their selection.

Source: Dawn