Pakistan Television progressing due to teamwork, governments cooperation
Rawalpindi- Managing Director Pakistan Television (PTV) Yousuf Baig Mirza said the PTV became stagnant due to political interference during the last 15 to 20 years, but now the organization was progressing as a result of teamwork and corporation of the government.
Baig was addressing, “meet the programme” at Rawalpindi Press Club (RPC). He said during this period, all kinds of induction in PTV weather material and Human had been banned, which greatly impaired its ability to meet the challenges of modern time.
Presently, the PTV needed Rs. One billion for modern machineries, according to bid. He further added that had an investment of Rs. One hundred to 150 million being made every year in the organization, the situation would not have been so disappointing. ” There is a need of gradual induction in PTV,” the M.D said.
The organization is facing a dearth of new and young talent as the average age of its producers is between 40 to 42 years, he said.
Comparing the PTV with Doordarshan, Yousuf Baig said that latter enjoyed full support of every government institution. The Indian government gave Rs. 4500 million to Doordarhan following the Kargil conflict to further improve its performance. “We know that our government was not in such a position, however, it has extended” full cooperation to us in connection with PTVs commercial policy,” he sad. The PTV, could not compete with its rival with restrictions, he said.
Baig said the PTV was facing a lot of challenges on domestic and international fronts. He said they are facing challenges from the satellite dish and cable networks. “We are not afraid of challenges but want an equal playing field,” he added.
He said the PTV should be given all the facilities, which should be extended to private channels and cable operators. The censor policies should also be same for both the official and private media, he said. He said the PTV has applied for cable television.
In fact the PTV was only institution which would be in a position to provide this service through’ out the country, he said. About international projects, he mentioned PTV’s Europe channel prime PTV. Talking about various business deals with private firms, the MD, said all the contracts — finalised with private parties during its tenure – were open for all for scrutiny. He said all the contracts were awarded purely on the basis of merit and no malafide intention was involved in it.
About privatization of PTV’s licence collection fee, he said although there was a lot of criticism on the award of that contract, PTV’s profit had been increased manifold following the privatization. He said after privatization of fee collection, the profit increased from 240 million to 35 million rupees in the very next year and this year Rs 560 million had been collected, while about Rs 40 million were in the pipeline. “This profit is expected to be increased to Rs 850 million till 2001,” He said.
Replying to a question, Baig said Channel 3 would tentatively be launched on May 15 and would air programmes round the clock. About modernising of PTV, he said The Satellite News Gathering (SNG) equipment was being purchased by the organization. It is a very handy equipment that could help in tele-casting news and events from far-flung areas, he added.
To a question about the salaries of PTV employees, he said that in his personal opinion the organization’s board of directors was the authorized body to take all decisions, which are taken without any interference. He asked the print media to verify the facts before issuing any news about PTV so that no misleading information could be provided to the masses.
Baig also made an announcement for providing a colour television and a satellite dish receiver for Rawalpindi Press Club as a gift.
Source: The News