Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting in its meeting was told that the project of converting PTV broadcast to High Definition Technology will be completed in a time period of 6-8 months subject to provision of the allocated funds. It was told that 90 million was given last year and 200 will be given in the current year and it was requested that the budget allocated for next year amounting to 280 million may also be pushed back and given this year to complete the project in the scheduled time.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Faisal Javed Khan here at the Parliament House on Tuesday and was attended among others by Senators Rukhsana Zuberi, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, Syed Sabir Shah, Abdur Rehman Malik, Pervaiz Rasheed, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Secretary Information and Broadcasting, Chairman PTV, MD PTV, MD PBC, Chairman PEMRA.
The committee also expressed concerns over the delay in implementation and compliance of committee’s recommendations regarding non-payment of salaries to journalists. The Committee reiterated the earlier recommendation that 2 month payment of pending salaries should be released by the 25th February and also directed the journalist bodies including PRA APNS PFUJ to provide lists about channels and reporters to make estimate of pending salaries by the same date. The Committee directed the ministry of information to share the draft legislation regarding journalists rights with the committee at the earliest.
While discussing the matter of equal representation in talk shows of PTV was also discussed and PTV was directed to provide details in terms of percentage and video record of representation of different political parties on the state owned enterprise.
The matters of PTV broadcasting fee and its need, dilapidated conditions of regional stations of PTV and PBC and the importance and requirements of generating new content were also discussed.