PTV pledges Karachi building to get loan for staff salaries -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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PTV pledges Karachi building to get loan for staff salaries

Irfan Bukhari

ISLAMABAD – To meet persistent financial crunch, Pakistan Television Corporation has pledged its Karachi building to a bank and got loan to pay the salaries of its staff, The Nation reliably learnt here on Tuesday. The sources within the organization said that PTV had virtually failed to recover outstanding dues of around Rs 1.6 billion from its defaulters. Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Information & Broadcasting, Liaquat Au Bangalzai talking to The Nation admitted that PTV management had failed to recover the outstanding dues and said that he had constituted a sub-committee under the chairman-ship of Senator Tariq Azeem to look into the matter of slow pace in recovering PTV’s outstanding dues from different advertising agencies.

“The committee will present its report in the next Senate Body meeting that is scheduled on February 7”, he said. “As PTV is passing through financial crisis it must expedite its efforts of recovering the outstanding dues! Receivables and the Senate Committee have repeatedly asked the high-ups of the organization to come up with remarkable results in this behalf”, he stated.

Chairman Senate Body is also against the collection of PTV li- cence fee (Rs 25) through electricity bills. “1 have asked the ministry and the PTV high-ups to change the mechanism of license fee collection”, he added:

It is pertinent to mention here that the Pakistan Television Corporation is collecting revenue of Rs 4.1 billion annually through monthly television licence fee that is being collected along with electricity bills and the decision had been taken by the Federal Cabinet in June 2004.

“During the last meeting of the~ Senate Committee on the issue of levy of Rs 25 as PTV fee per electricity bill monthly by WAP-DA the Senate Committee had recommended that the mode of collection of TV licence fee should be changed and collection of the same through electricity bill be stopped”, Bangalzai said.

On the other hand VTV officials on the issue of sluggish recovery pace claimed that the litigations were hampering PTV’s speed in recovering receivables. The PTV officials on the collection of licence fee through electricity bills say that the PTV has a strategic importance which is safeguarding the national interests and unlike private channels PTV is not being run purely on commercial lines. They further claim that the fee is collected from only those WAPDA consumers who consume over 100 units per month.

But the Chairman Senate Body does not agree with it and talking to this scribe said that he himself had seen such bills on which there was PTV licence fee whose consumption of units was less than 100.

Source: The Nation

Date:1/28/2009