Senate body seeks plans for proper utilization of PTV, Radio buildings

APP69-020821 ISLAMABAD: August 02 – Senator Faisal Javed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting presiding over a meeting of the Committee at Parliament House. APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP): The Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday asked the management of Pakistan Television Corporation ( PTV) and Radio Pakistan to provide plans for proper utilization of their respective buildings in the next meeting.

The committee, which met with Senator Faisal Javed in the chair, rejected the presentation given by the PTV management in this regard.

Faisal Javed said none of the committee’s recommendations had been implemented as it had asked for proper utilization of the PTV’s land and buildings, but instead information about the land value was provided.

The committee also expressed its disappointment over the delayed provision of working papers and directed for meticulous compliance of instructions in future.

It was informed that the total value of the buildings of PTV Headquarters and PTV News was Rs 2.57 billion.

The committee chairman said both the organizations had huge buildings not only in the Federal Capital but also in other big cities, which were not properly being utilized. For proper utilization of their buildings by the government, they should better relocate to some other place, he suggested.

It was told that the PTV had complied with some 29 recommendations given by the committee during the past three years. It was also informed that the PTV had hired services of 14 anchor persons.

The committee directed the PTV to provide job details of 64 persons appointed during the past three years.

It was informed that the PTV was introducing a new performance assessment system on modern lines.

Faisal Javed said the panel was facilitating the PTV management to improve its performance and save public money by adopting austerity measures.

The people were not watching PTV’s sports, entertainment and news channels, while its English channel had failed to improve the country’s image at the international level, he added

Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, had saved millions of rupees through austerity measures, and the institutions should also adopt such steps to save the taxpayers money.
It was not the job of state to run television channels or railways, he opined.

The committee was apprised that since July 12, the Senate’s proceedings were being shown on YouTube when simultaneous sessions of the two Houses of Parliament were held. The panel appreciated the step, but asked for a better quality of the content.

It was told that the quality of PTV content had been improved and the PTV News would be converted to HD from August 6.

The committee was informed that the draft policy on films production would be shared by it as soon as the concessions proposal was forwarded by the Federal Board of Revenue.

However, the committee asked for sharing of the draft today so that it could give its input.
The committee also directed for the presentation of draft advertisement policy to it.

It recommended that the PTV should air the processions of National Assembly and Senate, if they were simultaneously in sessions.The committee was informed that a separate  PTV Parliament should be introduced to show live sessions of both the Houses and provincial assemblies.

The committee was briefed on the structure and performance of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It recommended that the Film Censor Board should be renamed as Central Board. In three years, it censored 168 English and 84 local movies.

It was asked what was the need of a new regulatory authority in the presence of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

Faisal Javed said that the committee should be presented the draft of the new authority. The committee was informed that the Pakistan Media Development Authority would help all kinds of media under one roof. The committee asked for a presentation on the proposed authority so that it could give its recommendations.

The committee was informed that so far there was no channel available to provide remedy to the digital media content. This model was applicable in many countries and would be good addition.

The panel recommended that ITNE judge should be appointed within one week.
The  committee was informed the ministry was planning to build a media university on public-private partnership model.

Faisal Javed said as television dramas instigated the people to commit criminal acts, so it was the responsibility of Information Ministry and PEMRA to regulate their content. “Our television should reflect our national culture and values,” he added.

He said the social media content was having its negative impact on the society. Even advertisements on the electronic media were provocative and adversely affecting the character of new generation, he added.

The committee appreciated the Information Ministry for its efforts to restructure and reform its functioning and that of its attached departments.

The meeting was attended by senators Syed Ali Zafar, Aon Abbas, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Anwar Lal Dean, Tahir Bizinjo, Irfan Siddiqui, Umar Farooq and Naseema Ehsan, besides senior officers from the Information Ministry and its attached departments.