Tension increases in PTV employees -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Tension increases in PTV employees

ISLAMABAD – The level of tension is increasing among artists working for Pakistan Television (PTV); while the administration spends hefty sums on consultants, it has not released their salary cheques for the last four months.

Official sources told Daily Times that PTV’s new Managing Director Arshad Khan has brought with him several consultants from the private sector in order to improve the productivity and income of the PTV.

The artists expressed strong reservations about the appointment of these consultants and some of them even approached Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed complaining about the new administration’s biased policies.

Consultants were reportedly appointed with salaries ranging from Rs 100,000 to Rs 300,000. When the newly appointed consultants started work, the regular PTV employees did not warm to them and considered their ideas unviable. PTV is suffering from much in-fighting these days, sources said. PTV Public Relations Officer Sohail Bukhari denied the four-month delay in the release of salary cheques and said the process of release usually took one and a half month.

Daily Times also learned that three out of the seven PTV prime time slots were still vacant. Because of these empty slots, PTV suffered a loss of almost Rs 15 million a week.

In a meeting with senior journalists a few days ago, the managing director had claimed that PTV would recover from its financial crunch by June 30, 2005. He informed them that the channel had suffered a loss of Rs 390 million during the fiscal year of 2003-2004 and claimed that he had managed to recover Rs 350 million (45 percent of the total outstanding dues) of outstanding dues from different public and private organisations and departments in his first two months at the job. He also said total revenue in the month of June 2004 was Rs 290 million.

It was learned that during the last conference of PTV’s general managers, the minister had expressed his reservations on the prevailing situation in the state-owned television channel.

Source: Daily Times