PTV Parliament channel to be launched soon, PAC told
ISLAMABAD: Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed here Wednesday that Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is all set to launch new channel “Pakistan Television Parliament” for giving live coverage to the sessions of parliament and standing committees.
The PAC appreciated the plan of ministry saying that this step will surely build the trust of the entire nation in the parliament.
Information Secretary Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, while briefing the committee, said that the idea for live coverage of parliament proceedings came from the Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The committee also directed the secretary to give a presentation to PAC meeting on the new PTV channel next week.
Replying to a question, Ahmed Sukhera said that the ministry gets three times more supplementary grant as the government has decided to launch an advertising campaign.
MNA Shafqat Mahmood insisted the secretary inform about the social media wing established in the prime minister house. The secretary replied said that he was not aware of any information about this wing.
PAC also directed the ministry of information to present advertisements’ details of last ten years.
Replying to another question, Ahmed Sukhera said that the secret fund was closed in 2013. He added that the ministry has cooperation with Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) without any financial assistance.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that audit of the secret fund was conducted during his era. He said government imposes curbs on media in the guise of advertisements.
The secretary also informed the committee that around 23 press chancellors are posted in the foreign countries.
Replying to the body about the pay and perks of former Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) chairman Absar Alam, the secretary said that Absar Alam was being paid Rs15 million and facilities equal to MP-1.
The committee also discussed the matter of Radio Pakistan for giving its airtime to a private company.
Radio Pakistan had signed an agreement with a private firm under which the firm was bound to take the business of Rs90 million while the private firm could only take Rs80 million. The committee was informed that despite not fulfilling its contract, the private firm was again awarded the contract for two more years.
PAC chairman directed to punish the person who awarded the contract and present the report in next fifteen days. He also directed to complete the necessary process of tender announcement before awarding of contracts.
PAC directed to constitute a five-member committee to review complaints of corruption, mismanagement and violation of merit in PTV. The committee would be headed by MNA Shafqat Mehmood, which would present its report within fifteen days.
Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera welcomed the decision of renewing parliamentary committee and said this institution had collapsed completely. He said the restructuring of the institution was underway.
PAC also decided to review the woman harassment case in PTV, while also issuing directives to restore services of the terminated female employee. It was unmasked in the meeting that the applicant’s services were also terminated along with the accused.