ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid Thursday informed the Senate that public sector advertisements are distributed judiciously among national and regional media outfits under the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) rules.
Replying to the questions of the senators during question hour, the Minister said that a list of the advertisement details has been provided and if any member thinks that a regional language newspaper faced discrimination, the matter will be addressed accordingly.
The members had raised the issue of discrimination with some newspapers in Balochistan about distribution of government advertisements.
The minister said, the government not only assures a judicious policy on advertisements but also the public sector media will give effective coverage to Balochistan. “I can understand that their voice needs to be listened effectively and I shall ensure more coverage for Balochistan people and their representatives in National Assembly and the Senate.”
Replying a question about rating of private TV channels for getting advertisements, the Minister said, such a rating is not prerogative of Pemra. This rating is done by the private companies. Some metres have also been installed by PTCL in Balochistan and the government will ensure to address the concern of the members.
He explained that PTCL has 40,000 subscribers in the country including 215 in Quetta. Furthermore, Media Logic has informed that they are in the process of expanding their monitoring/tracking network to 20 cities, which would be completed in January/February 2014.
“Rating meters is a private business. Its use or misuse is not concerned with the government. The concerned private companies decide at their own for advertisements on the basis of privately calculated rating,” the minister explained.
He further stated that every government department decides at its own about advertisements and actual money spent in this regard cannot be calculated prior to end of the year.
He said 25% quota of advertisements has been allocated for the regional newspapers, which is distributed judiciously.
Answering a question about foreign financing in media houses within Pakistan, the minister said, foreign financing is not allowed in media either print or broadcast or electronic. “The channels running in Pakistan are owned by Pakistanis and being run with their money. There is no law that any foreign company can set up a media house within Pakistan.”
When asked about specific advertisement with appearing models from other countries, the minister said, there are number of multi-national products who prepare a uniform advertisement for more than one countries.
When questioned about telecasting VoA or other such entities, the minister said, media cannot be reigned in. If PBC can be listened in other countries and our newspapers can be read in other countries. Their programmes or newspapers can also be seen and read within Pakistan. “There is such rule or regulation to bar it. It is a matter of disseminating information to one another.”