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Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry Wednesday said that the government has changed advertisement policy and will give around Rs 7 billion advertisements this year. Addressing a function relating to the importance of digital media, he said the government has made some changes in the advertisement policy and has allocated one-thirds of government advertisements to digital media.
He said that advertisement platforms are shrinking from formal media to digital media. He said there is a crisis in the media industry but it is linked with technology "as our media houses are lagging behind in using modern technology." The minister urged the media industry to initiate research to know the effects of digital media on the formal media. He said the money generated from advertisements is going out of the country and tax authority should monitor such money and brought it back in the country.
He said the government has decided to transform Associated Press of Pakistan into Digital Service of Pakistan. He said the government is spending Rs 850 million on APP "but how ironic it is that majority of its staff is unable to operate an email account".
The minister said the government is bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media and other media, adding that PMRA will regulate these media.
He also said that the government has invited Facebook to open its office in Pakistan to get advertisement business.
The information minister also said the previous governments had inflated media budgets to a large degree and such organisations must rely primarily on modern technology instead of government subsidies.
Fawad also encouraged media bodies to research modern technologies and their effects on the media's financial status. He added that the government is working to bring print and digital media under a single regulatory body and also create an organisation for workers being laid off in the industry. He further urged media houses to pay heed to market forces.
On the resignation of Senior Punjab Minister Aleem Khan following his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Khan's resignation indicated "a change in culture" under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
He said the senior Punjab minister sent his resignation to the chief minister as soon as he came to know about his arrest orders.
"The way Aleem Khan tendered his resignation depicts a clear difference in culture ... it tells a lot about prevailing culture in PTI and other political parties," he remarked, adding that opposition parties would now find it difficult to come up with further criticism [against NAB and the government].
The information minister said that the ruling party fully backs the ongoing accountability process, and stands with state institutions. "Stability of institutions ensures Pakistan's stability," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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