APNS urges govt to clear outstanding dues
KARACHI: All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has urged upon the Federal and Provincial governments to ensure payments of long outstanding bills of member publications adopt equitable and judicious distribution of advertisements among all segments of newspapers without any discrimination.
Mir Javed Rahman Secretary-General of APNS announcing the decisions of the meeting of the Executive Committee, held under the chairmanship of Hameed Haroon stated that the meeting considered the complaints of the Executive Committee members from Sindh, Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan. The members have taken a serious view to the problems faced by member publications in the provinces and decided to take up all the issues at the highest Federal and provincial levels.
The Executive Committee adopted the draft annual report of the Secretary-General for the year 1998-99 and approved annual accounts for the year 1998. The members decided to hold the annual general meeting on March 31, 1999 at Karachi. The members elected Zia Shahid of daily Khabrain, Lahore as Senior Vice-President for the remaining term, the post vacated by Hameed Haroon.
The Executive Committee noted with concern that the Federal Government has not yet cleared the remaining 50 per cent long outstanding dues of member publications despite its assurance to clear in November, 1998. The members decided to hold a meeting with the Federal Information Minister to sort out the pending problems.
The members from Sindh pointed out that the bills of member publications amounting to Rs 140 million were outstanding against Sindh government since long and despite various assurances no arrangements have been made to settle the bills. It was also noted that the Sindh Information Department was releasing government ads to dummy publications whereas government ads to genuine publications were curtailed. The Sindh government has time and again been requested to adopt a reasonable and transparent advertisement policy but the long outstanding practices were continued. The member decided that a delegation led by Hameed Haroon and Mir Javed Rahman would take up the issue with-the Sindh Governor.
The meeting was informed by the Balochistan members that the quantum of government advertisements was constantly decreasing and a system of Press advices and burling threats to smaller newspapers has been adopted by the Balochistan Government to independent publications. The members decided that the APNS President will pay a brief visit to Quetta to discuss relevant problems with the Chief Minister.
The Executive Committee noted with concern that with the increase in the government advertisement rates the Punjab Information Department has curtailed advertisements to smaller publications. It was also noted that the bill of special supplements and local bodies ads are not being cleared. The Executive Committee advised Mr Arif Nizami to take up the issue with the Provincial government. The Executive Committees also noted with concern that the PIA was shifting the city cargo office to AirPort, which would create multiple problems for various newspapers and business circles. The Committee has therefore urged upon the PIA administration to revert the decision,
The Executive Committee granted full membership to daily Awam, Karachi and daily Din Lahore.
The meeting was attended by the following members.
Mr Hameed Haroon (President), Mr Jamil Athar, (Vice-President) Mir Javed Rahman (Secretary-General), Mr Jabbar Khattak (Joint Secretary), Syed Shahid Hashmi (Finance Secretary), Mr Qutubuddin (Asian Medical News), Mr Siddiq Baloch (Balochistan Express), Syed Fasih lqbal (Balochistan Times Quetta), Mr Arshad Zuberi (Daily Business Recorder), Mr Riaz Mansuri (Monthly Cricketer), Mr Javed Mehr Shamsi (Daily Kaleem Sukkur), Mr Muhammad Aslam Kazi (Daily Rawish Hyderabad), Mr Zia Shahid (Daily Khabrain Lahore), Mr Aamir Mahmood (Monthly Kiran Karachi), Mr Mushtaq Qureshi (Monthly Naey Ufaq), Mr Arif Nizami (Nawa-i- Waqt), Mr S. Munir Jillani (Daily Paigham Faisalabad), Mr Zahid Malik (Daily Pakistan Observer), Mr llyas Shakir (Daily Qaumi Akhbar), Mr Waqar Yusaf Azeemi, (Rohani Digest), Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard (Daily Wahdar Peshawar), Mr Mustafa Sadiq (Daily Wafaq), Mr Mujeebur Rahman Shami (Weekly Zindagi Lahore), Masooda M Ahmed (Monthly Teenager), Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and NV Sarmad Ali attended the meeting as Special observer.