PM orders release of outstanding dues to media before Eid
Islamabad – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed the Ministry of Information to hold immediate consultations with PBA and APNS regarding payment of outstanding dues.
Chairing a high-level meeting to have detailed deliberations on outstanding dues and payments of print and electronic media, Imran Khan directed the Ministry to take practical steps for the release of outstanding amounts to media persons before Eid.
He said that the government is cognizant of the issues being faced by media persons and their resolution is top priority of the government.
In this regard, the Prime Minister asked Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan to personally supervise this process.
The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, SAPM on Media Affairs Yousuf Baig Mirza, Punjab Minister for Information Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari, Senator Faisal Javed and Secretary to PM, a PM Office statement said.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan apprised the prime minister on the issues pertaining to the media industry. The meeting also discussed in detail the matters related to the PBA and APNS.
The prime minister directed Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan to personally monitor the process.
He said the government fully believed in the constitutional and fundamental right to freedom of speech. The promotion of free and responsible journalism was inevitable for strengthening democracy, he added.
The prime minister said the government was fully alive to the people associated with the media industry and the resolution of their issues was its priority.
The prime minister also asked the information ministry to highlight the government’s reforms agenda through media.
Imran Khan has emphasised the crucial role of independent and responsible journalism in strengthening of democracy.
Punjab Information Minister Syed Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari also separately called Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM Office.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a youth empowering initiative of the government under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme’.
The approval was given at a meeting regarding ‘Prime Minister Kamyab Jawan Program’ here on Thursday.
The programme contains comprehensive welfare plans for the county’s youth.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Muhammad Usman Dar, on the occasion, briefed the Prime Minister about the steps taken by the government regarding the programme and its benefits for youth.
APNS thanks PM
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society has expressed its profound gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan for his directives to clear the long outstanding dues of the media before Eidul Fitr.
In a statement, APNS President Hameed Haroon and Secretary General Sarmad Ali, stated that the directives of the Prime Minister to his media team and the officials of Ministry of Information would be wholeheartedly welcomed by not only the media owners but also by the media workers.
The APNS appreciated the present media team of the Prime Minister that is not only aware of the gravity of the financial crisis that has hit the media industry but has suggested remedial measures. The gesture of the Prime Minister would help the media industry to brave the acute financial crisis and come forward to take active part in the development of Naya Pakistan. This bailout package will go a long way in strengthening the Govt-Media relations.
The APNS officebearers hoped that all the outstanding dues will be cleared in one go before Eid and assured that the media owners will clear their liabilities and salaries of their employees on receipt of the payment.
It may be mentioned here that the federal government and the provincial governments of Punjab and KP owe more than Rs2 billion in advertising dues to the print media from 2013 onwards.