PAC seeks 10-year details of ads for print, electronic media Listen
ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts committee (PAC) Wednesday sought the details from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about the advertisement to print and electronic media during the last 10-year and also the advertisements rate of print and electronic media.
Besides seeking the record of the advertisements and rates of advertisements to the print and electronic media, the PAC also sought the details of 19-year annual budget of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The meeting of the PAC was held Wednesday with the chair of its Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah in which the audit para related to Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage for the year 2016-17 were examined.
To the query of the PAC members belonging to PTI Shafqat Mehmood with regard to media cell of the Prime Minister House and its budget, Secretary Ministry of Information Ahmed Nawaz Sukhaira expressed its ignorance from any media cell in the PM House, saying that there was no budget allocation in the Ministry budget for this head.
To the query of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed about the secret fund of the Information Ministry, the secretary Information Ministry responded that the secrets funds of all the federal ministries were abolished in the year 2013.
On the matters relating to Pakistan Television (PTV), the PAC formed five member sub-committee headed by Shafqat Mehmood with Dr Arif Alvi, Sardar Ashiq Gopang, Mustafa Shah and Shahida Akhtar Ali to examine the financial and administrative matters of the PTV and report back to the committee within 15-days of time.
The PAC also directed the Information Ministry to formulate the policy for running of the advertisements relating to public interest for five minutes on TV channels and to get assurance from the Pemra to implement it by the private TV channels.
Senator Azam Swati inquired that whether the ex-chairman Pemra Absar Alam salary package of Rs2.3 million with perks and privileges match his educational qualification, Secretary Information told the committee that the salary package of ex-chairman was Rs1.5 million with perks and privileges of MP-1 and his appointment was made before he took charge of the Ministry.
While examining the appropriation accounts and grants of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the year 2015-16, the PAC has objected on the supplementary grant of over Rs2 billion to the Press Information Department and questioned about the reason of getting such a huge amount through a supplementary grant.
Secretary Ministry of Information told the committee that the supplementary grants were taken from the government for its different media campaigns. However, the PAC did not satisfy with the response of the secretary and officials of the Ministry of Information and sought the details from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about the advertisement to print and electronic media during the last 10-year and also the advertisements rate of print and electronic media as well as the details of 19-year annual budget of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The secretary Information Ministry told the committee that the PTV is planning to launch another channel specific for the Parliament with the name of ‘PTV Parliament’ in which the live coverage of the Parliament proceedings as well as committees proceedings would be broadcast.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed inquired about the financing of the Pakistan’s image at abroad, he said the Information Ministry has a budget to present the Pakistan’s soft image abroad.
Shafqat Mehmood remarked that the PTV has taken an appreciative step to sack those who were involved in sexual harassment to the women employees of the PTV and though it was positive step to take action against those who were involved in sexual harassment yet at the same time the PTV has not restored those women employee who had registered their complaints for the sexual harassment.
The Secretary Information Ministry said that the PTV has not received any application from those women who were sacked on registering the sexual harassment complaints and if they are willing to back to join the PTV then PTV is ready to restore them.
While examining the audit pars relating to Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, the audit officials told the committee that award of contract resulting in non-recovery of Rs76.177 million from M/s Loud and Clear.
Giving details, the audit officials told the committee that during the audit of PBC (sales and marketing Wing), it was observed that the management of PBC executed an agreement with M/s Loud & Clear for the sale of air time of the channel FM 101 on December 6, 2013 for one year (from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014) and M/s Loud and Clear were required to bring advertisement business of Rs90 million but the part could bring business of Rs82.248 million in entire year of 2014.
The audit officials told the committee that despite shortfall in achievement in target, the contract was extended for 2015 and during the year, they had brought business of Rs112.574 million, out of which Rs73.353 million was outstanding as on December 31, 2015 whereas as per Clause 5 of the agreement the party was required to ensure the outstanding amount did not exceed Rs50 million while the agreement for the third year for 2016 was further extended and total outstanding reached to Rs76.177 million as on July 31, 2016. The officials of the PBC told the committee that it was part of the agreement that the agreement will be extendable for two years.
However, the audit officials told the committee that the agreement was also extended for third consecutive year. The committee sought the report for further extending the agreement after the completion of two-year extension as per agreement.