Government to autonomies Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), says Jabbar
MULTAN- Federal Minister for Information and Media Development Javed Jabbat said the government had decided to autonomise the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) so that circulation audit and government advertisement could not be used to affect the freedom of the press.
Addressing a seminar “The role of Mass Media in Pakistan”, organised by an NGO, Omeed Development Organisation at a local hotel Jabbar said talks were in progress with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and a law would soon be framed to accord autonomy to the ABC. “The second thing we have done for strengthening the press freedom is the abolition of newsprint quota system. Duty on the newsprint has also been reduced to make the access of all newspapers – big and small – equal, equitable and non- discriminatory.”
The minister said the government will relax the control on the Pakistan Television and radio so that the electronic media also become more independent. “The government also plans to issue licences to set up TV channels in the private sector,” he said.
Jabbar said the country’s media as well as the armed forces have remained unaffected by the chequered history and political upheavals in the country of the past 12 years. ‘Pakistan has the honour of being the seventh most populous country in the world. But in the sphere of access to media it is ranked 135th. One of the reasons for the poor access to the media is widespread illiteracy. The high cost reduces the people’s power of access to the print media.”
The minister admitted that depriving Multan of its own TV station was an “injustice to the people of southern Punjab. He invited the citizens of this region to come forward and obtain licences for setting up TV station in the private sector here when the law is promulgated.
Source: The News