PCP, ITNE, PEMRA roles being strengthened to resolve media workers salary issues: Dr Firdous

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ISLAMABAD, May 23 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Thursday said the roles of Press Council of Pakistan (PCP), Implementation Tribunal of Newspapers Employees (ITNE) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) were being strengthened on permanent basis to resolve salary issues of media workers.
Briefing Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting here, she said the regulatory authorities would also be empowered and restructured to ensure solution of the issues of media workers.
PEMRA should link job security and timely payments to media workers before issuing licence to a channel, she added.
She said the goverment was duty bound to protect the rights of media workers and owners alike and outstanding dues of media houses were being cleared on war footings.
She said the first tranche of the outstanding dues of media houses would be paid before Eidul Fitr with the obligation to clear outstanding dues of media workers immediately.
She said media houses owners were initially claiming Rs5 to 7 billion outstanding dues of advertisements, however, after a series of consultations, the outstanding dues had been rationalized.
The government had agreed to clear outstanding dues of media houses in two or three tranches, she added.
She said private TV channels were earning 85 percent of their total revenues from private advertisements, while only 15 percent revenues were generated from the government advertisements.
Briefing the committee, she said Pakistan Television (PTV) Corporation and Radio Pakistan were enduring worst financial crisis right now due to bad governance, incompetence and mal practices of the past governments.
She said immediately after taking over, she ordered PTV management to resolve its pensioner’s issues.
Efforts were afoot to clear outstanding dues of pensioners as soon as possible, she said.
Regarding appointment of new PTV managing director (MD), she said a total of 42 applications were received for the appointment. After completing formalities, the ministry had forwarded five names to the Prime Minister Office for the appointment one of them as PTV MD. Now it was prime minister’s prerogative to appoint anyone among them as PTV MD or altogether reject all five candidates.
She said the government was planning to make PTV autonomous. China, Japan and Saudi Arabia were ready to help introducing modern technologies in PTV.