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LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Sehat Card is a unique programme which is successful in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

He was talking to journalists at Lahore Press Club here on Sunday. While requesting the Sindh government to contribute in the health project, he said that huge amount of public money is being spent in the Sindh province to construct buildings and paying huge salaries to government doctors.

Rejecting the impression that Imran Khan’s popularity has taken a hit due to the rising inflation in the country, he claimed that PTI is the only party in the country which could represent entire nation, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is only a party of central Punjab and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is restricted only to Sindh.

Talking about country’s political situation, the information minister predicted that the PTI will continue to rule in the Centre after winning next general elections. To another question, he said that government is spending 700 billion rupees on development of Southern Balochistan.

Congratulating to the newly elected office-bearers of Lahore Press Club, he said along with freedom of expression, there was a need to promote a responsible journalism in the country.

The protection of working journalists has been the top priority of the government and it was committed to providing healthcare facilities to journalists. “Government is pursuing a transparent and sustainable policy to solve the problems being faced by the media industry,” he said.

Journalists highlight the problems of the society, the government played its role in solving the problems only on the indication of the media, the minister said. He hoped that the newly elected leaders of journalists would play a positive role in solving the problems of their profession and fellow journalists.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that salaries of journalists had not been increased for several years. He said recently media houses earned 40 per cent profit. He said media house owners increased salaries of anchors, but not of the other staff and journalists.

He said the government would provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities to the journalists and their families for free through the Sehat Card. The minister said that families of journalists and members of press clubs in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be given health facilities up to one million rupees per year at both government and private hospitals.

He said that journalists throughout Pakistan would be provided subsidized houses under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. Fawad Hussain also announced to build a digital media lab in Lahore. He suggested the print media to shift to digital media. He said advertisement worth Rs12 billion had been transferred to digital media.

With launching of the 5G technology, which has been delayed because of the trade war between China and the United States, the world of internet would see a new revolution as its speed would multiply, he said.

He also distributed Sehat Cards among journalists and felicitated them on achieving this reward. Earlier, federal minister participated in the ceremony of launching an English poetry book of Farzana Aqib. He appreciated the efforts of the writer for promotion of English literature, especially poetry.

He further said that PTV English would be converted into infotainment which would play a pivotal role for the promotion of English Drama and Music in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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