PTV refutes plans to raise license fee
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Television Corporation said it recorded profit of Rs 300 million in fiscal year 2018-19 and that reports about increase of license fee from Rs 35 to Rs 100 are baseless.
Due to the revamping and reforms agenda, corporation has recorded an operation profit Rs300 million in Fiscal Year 2018-19 after consecutive loss of previous three years 2015-2018.
According to media reports, the Board of Directors of the corporation had recommended to increase the license fee as per financial business plan. The plan recommended increasing the license fee from Rs35 to Rs100 while collecting the same from electricity consumers thorough bills after getting its approval from federal government. PTV could collect Rs20 billion after increasing PTV license fee.
PTV has clarified its position through a statement and said, “The information regarding PTV’s operations, future business plans and restructuring including the recommendation to review the TV license fee by PTV’s Board of Directors that have appeared in a section of press during past few days is ill-founded, incomplete and has been based on facts quoted completely out of context.
It further said, constituted about a year ago the independent Board of Directors put in place an elaborate revamping and reform agenda for PTV comprising of some immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies to bring it at par with public broadcasters elsewhere in the world. As a result of these strategies, PTV has recorded an operational profit of Rs. 300 million during fiscal year 2018-19, after having run in losses for three consecutive years from 2015-2018. These reform strategies include new business strategy, technology up-gradation, HR restructuring in lines with modern public broadcasters, new marketing and content strategy, new digital strategy and new fixed assets strategy. In order to bridge the financial shortfall, PTV’s management is carrying out a multifold strategy that includes cost-saving; check on leakages; and revenue stream optimization. The new LPR strategy is part of the overall HR revamp and not targeted to any financial saving as the employees still get their salaries.
PTV also pointed out that countries like UK, France, Germany and Turkey charge monthly TV license fee to fund BBC, France TV, DW and TRT respectively. The monthly TV license fee charged by these channels is GBP 13 (Rs. 2,567) by BBC; Euros 12 (Rs. 2,100) by France TV; Euros 18 (Rs. 3,150) by DW and 2% of monthly electricity bill by TRT. Following the international models, Pakistan Government charges a monthly TV license fee of Rs 35 only. PTV said in statement, in every meeting of the BoD status update of the ongoing plans is reviewed and the existing strategies are fine-tuned on the basis of operational ground realities. Therefore, the minutes of one or two BoD meetings cannot be construed as the complete plan of action of the organization as it is just a small part and not the whole.
The PTV management has hired experts in different fields against MP-1 scale after the approval of BoD and posted them as head of different departments to bring improvement in its ongoing operations.