PTV under fire for ‘poor’ coverage
LAHORE – The PTV came under fire in the house on Wednesday for its poor coverage of the proceedings in the Punjab Assembly. PPP’s Shafqat Abbasi, on a point of order, complained that the national channel was ignoring the Punjab Assembly’s parliamentary coverage.
He demanded that private TV networks should be allowed to cover proceedings of the house and entry of PTV officials be banned. Law minister Raja Basharat said this feeling would be conveyed to the federal government.
Rana Sanaullah said when private channels were allowed to function in the whole country then why these were not being allowed to cover the Punjab Assembly proceedings. He asked whether the provincial government had any objection to it.
Raja Basharat said the government had never opposed the idea. However, only speaker Chaudhry Afzal Sahi, being custodian of the house, was authorized to take a decision in this regard.
He urged the chair, being held by deputy speaker Shaukat Mazari, to go through the issue in his chamber and take a decision whether or not to permit private channels to cover the proceedings.
He said the PTV was under the federal government’s control and the provincial authorities could not interfere in its coverage policy. However, the federal information minister could be approached to improve coverage of the province.
Rana Sana said as it was an era of competition, the permission to private channels would automatically make the PTV authorities change their policy towards the coverage of house proceedings.
The opposition had no objection to entry of private TV men in the house. Mr. Mazari said he himself felt that the time being given to the Punjab Assembly by the PTV was less than what was being allocated to even smaller provinces.
Directing the PTV officials to improve coverage, he said he would take a decision on the private TV channels’ issue in his chamber. Interestingly, the PTV started focusing on seats lying vacant after the MPs left the house due to lack of interest.