PTV’s falling viewership worries Senate body
By Ikram Junaidi
ISLAMABAD: A Senate special committee on Monday expressed concerns over the plummeting ratings and viewership of PTV News and instructed its officials to keep pace with private channels.
The committee meeting, chaired by leader of the house Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, was held at the parliament house to see if provincial quota was violated during appointments in the organisation. Members of the committee Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Wasim Sajjad, managing director PTV Yousuf Baig Mirza and other officials attended the meeting.
Wasim Sajjad said on Sunday night all private channels were informing their audiences about the return of President Asif Ali Zardari but PTV News was 15 minutes behind. Besides, he added, viewers were continuously switching to private channels. He said dramas of private channels were also more attractive than that of the PTV.
Mr Mashhadi said PTV had produced most competent officers in the past, majority of whom were now running private channels. It is the responsibility of the management to take steps for progress of the organisation, he added.
Mr Mirza said PTV cannot telecast news about any department without confirmation from its spokesman and “sometimes we do not get permission to telecast a news.” Briefing the meeting, he said the quota of provinces was being considered in appointments.
He said there were 5,828 sanctioned vacancies out of which 5,407 had been filled. During the last three years, 1,558 officers and officials were appointed on contractual basis.
The official said quota of Punjab in the PTV was 50 per cent but currently 58.6 per cent of the employees belonged to that province. Quota of Sindh rural is 11.40 per cent but there are 3.7 per cent employees from that area. Similarly, 12.8 per cent of the employees are from Sindh urban which has a quota of 7.60 per cent. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has a quota of 11.50 per cent but the percentage of employees from that province is 16.3. As many as 6.7 per cent employees belong to Balochistan which has six per cent quota. Out of the two per cent quota for Azad Kashmir, only one per cent has been appointed while Fafa/Fata have four per cent quota but the percentage of employees belonging to these regions is 0.8.
The PTV chief also said they cannot telecast Indian shows and news regarding Indian stars due to which rating of PTV News had gone down, claiming, however, that PTV Home’s rating remained at the top.
Senator Bokhari said the federal quota should not be included in Punjab as residents of Islamabad were being ignored all over the country. He instructed the officials to provide detail about the PTV employees who had domicile of Islamabad.
According to sources, members of the standing and special committees of the house have made a routine to remain absent from meetings. On Monday, Senators Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Mohammad Zahid Khan, Abdul Malik, Islamuddin Sheikh and Abbas Khan were absent. Besides, minister for information and broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan and Senator Shahid Hassan Bughti did not attend the meeting.