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ISLAMABAD: The Federal government firmly stands for the promotion of print media and the issues confronted by newspapers will be amicably addressed,“ stated Attaullah Tarrar, the Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting.

Tarrar was addressing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society at Islamabad chaired by its President Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani, Sarmad Ali, Secretary General APNS welcomed the minister and apprised him about the problems being faced by the print media.

These included long pending notification of 35 percent increase in the government advertisement rates approved by the Prime Minister in his last tenure. He reminded that the Prime Minister during his last meeting with APNS office bearers had given an assurance that an amount of Rs 50 crore will be released to newspapers before Eid as initial payment of outstanding dues of the print media against advertising released by the federal government. However, the print media was paid Rs 4.6 crores only.

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The APNS office bearers also explained the hardship faced by members in getting renewal of their registration by the Press Registrar office due to a highly complicated procedure practiced by the Press Registrar and requested that the procedure be made hassle free and that the registration be made one time as stipulated in the law.

The APNS members requested that the regional quota be implemented in letter and spirit and no publications other than regional newspapers be given advertisements from this quota. They also requested that in the forthcoming budget GST, custom and import duties on imports of newspaper consumables like ink and printing plates be exempted.

Atta Ullah Tarrar assured that the issues being faced by the newspaper industry will be addressed to the satisfaction of the print media’s. He stated that he would take up the issue of increase in the government advertisement rates with the Finance Ministry for its incorporation in the next fiscal budget. He reiterated that the Ministry of Information had disbursed an overall amount of Rs 1.3 billion to media outlets before Eid.

He stated that he has asked the ministry to evolve a mechanism for future budgetary arrangements for payment of advertisement expenses. He assured that the old liabilities will be cleared in the first quarter of next financial year.

Tarrar proposed a joint committee of Information Ministry and APNS to evolve a system for registration of newspapers. He stated that the newspapers played a pivotal role in countering fake news and disinformation. In order to promote newspaper readership, the Federal Minister stated that he would ask the Information Ministry to suggest to the Ministry of Aviation and other government ministries and departments to subscribe to newspapers as in the past. In this respect he proposed to initiate a pilot project with the Ministry of Education to promote newspaper readership at the school and college levels in the ICT.

Earlier, the Executive Committee, on the recommendations of the Advertising Committee, granted provisional accreditation to M/s. Starcrest Communications (Pvt.) Ltd Karachi, M/s. SAP Communications (Pvt.) Ltd. Islamabad and M/s. URS Digi (Pvt) Ltd. Islamabad.

The members expressed condolence to Ahmed Baloch, Publisher Daily Kainat Bahawalpur on the sad demise of his mother.

The meeting was attended by the following:

Nazafreen Saigol Lakhani, President, Imtinan Shahid, Senior Vice President, Sarmad Ali, Secretary General, S.M Munir Jillani, Joint Secretary, Waseem Ahmed, (Daily Awam, Quetta), Mohsin Bilal,( Daily Ausaf), Humayun Tariq,( Daily Business Report), Ansar Mahmood Bhatti, (Monthly Centre Line), Muhammad Waqaruddin, (Daily Dunya), Javed Mehr Shamsi, (Daily Kaleem). Rukhsana Saulat Saleemi, (Weekly Nikhar), Bilal Mahmood, (Daily Nawa-i-Waqt). Sardar Khan Niazi, (Monthly Naya Rukh), Faisal Zahid Malik,(Daily Pakistan Observer), Humayun Gulzar, (Daily Sayadat), Irfan Ather, (Daily Tijarat), Syed Haroon Shah, (Daily Wahdat), Nasir Dad Baloch, (Daily Sindh Sujaag), Mehtab Khan, (Daily Ausaf), Tahir Mughal, (Daily Nawa-i-Pak) attended the meeting as special observer.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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KU May 09, 2024 10:29am
Fascinating news, feeding the B team for their master's voice.
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