ISLAMABAD, Jul 13 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday said that the present government during its 14-month rule had taken several steps to transform the Pakistan Television Corporation and the Radio Pakistan into financially viable organizations.
Apprising the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting about the reforms carried out in the state broadcasters, the minister said the former government had planned to auction the national assets, including Radio Pakistan and PTV.
The committee meeting chaired by Javaria Zafar Aahir, was attended by its members Zaib Jafar, Kiran Imran Dar, Zulfiqar Ali, Naz Baloch, Dr Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, Nasir Khan Musazai and Asiya Azeem.
Secretary Information and Broadcasting Sohail Ali Khan, Principal Information Officer Mubasher Hassan, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Chairman Saleem Baig and other officers of the Ministry of Information also attended the meeting.
The minister said now both the Radio Pakistan and the PTV were now on moving path of self-reliance and due to the prudent policies of the present regime, the latter had earned a record profit worth Rs 5.5 billion during the current year.
The government, she added, had regularized all contract employees of the PTV to boost its performance.
She informed the panel that the PTV Peshawar Center had started 24-hour transmission of its programmes in regional languages, including Pashto, while Multan and Karachi centres were airing round-the-clock their programmes in Saraiki and Sindhi languages respectively.
All studios of the PTV Lahore had been upgraded, she said, adding a virtual studio was set up in the PTV Islamabad Center.
Marriyum said for the promotion of filmmaking, the PTV Film Division had been established, besides setting up the Film Production Institute at the PTV Academy.
She said now film production and media related courses were being started in the PTV Academy.
Cinemas were being established on the premises of the Radio Pakistan Lahore and Peshawar, and their foundation stones had been laid, she added.
The minister said 12 new studios were established in the Radio Pakistan Islamabad, while the work of digitizing the entire archive of Radio Pakistan had started.
“On May 9, the building of Radio Pakistan Peshawar was burnt down, but we have started a project for its restoration,” she informed the committee.
The minister recalled the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had introduced the first film policy in 2017-18, and now money had been allocated for the purpose in the current year’s budget.
In the film policy, she added, filmmakers had been given immense incentives. Moreover, she said, health insurance funds had been established for artists and journalists.
The minister said they had worked round the clock during the last 14 months to complete the projects.
“When we came into power, we used the national assets for the people and did not opt for their auction,” she said recalling the tenure of former information minister who had come up with the policy of selling everything.
She said now national broadcasters were playing their due role in providing information to the public in a better way.