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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved Rs1 billion for launching an advertisement campaign about reforms and initiatives the government has taken so far to earn good will of the people.

A statement issued after the meeting, said that the ECC meeting presided over by Finance and Revenue Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh considered a summary moved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and approved Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs1 billion for publicity during the third wave of COVID-19 for public good. Sources said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting rules of business as amended on October 2020 mandated the Ministry of Broadcasting to formulate policy regarding government advertisement, control of advertisement, and placement. The ministry further stated that advertisements are an effective instrument to inform and educate the general public on public-oriented initiatives of the government. However, many far reaching reform initiative and projects of the government which include economic and financial reforms, construction and housing and infrastructure projects, bouquet of programmes and initiatives under Ehsaas umbrella, programme and initiatives in sectors such as information technology, food security, power and energy, and many others have not been projected appropriately through advertisements in the formal print and electronic media.

Moreover, success stories of the incumbent government, which among many include attracting record remittances, improving the foreign currency reserves at record level, keeping the current account balance in the positive territory, enhancing exports while curtailing the imports and encouraging made-in-Pakistan products, record growth in large scale manufacturing, revival of the construction sector, improving environment degradation, reforming tourism and travelling infrastructure, and scores of success stories in number of other fields have not been properly advertised in the print and electronic media. Resultantly, the desired impact of these reforms initiatives which have direct and far-reaching positive impact on the lives and livelihood of general public, and progress and prosperity of the country remain under-projected. Additionally, the exemplary management of the COVID-I9 pandemic, so far compared to many other countries has successfully and effectively saved the lives and livelihood of the people in Pakistan, and the government's ongoing efforts to provide vaccination to the people in an orderly and systematic manner remain under-projected.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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