APNS takes strong exception to the statement of Federal Information Minister

Karachi, December 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): The All Pakistan Newspapers Society and Pakistan Broadcasters Association takes strong exception to the statement of Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in which he has claimed that around half of the dues of media industry have been paid to media houses and yet none of that amount has been used to pay salaries of workers.

The information minister is quoted to say, “half (.6 billion Rs) of the $9.6 million (1.3 billion Rs) have been released to media houses who kept all of the money for themselves instead of paying their journalists.”

Such statements are false and can create conflict within the media industry. Previously also the minister has been making disparaging public remarks against the news media industry which is highly regrettable.

The fact is that the media over dues of the governments (federal and provincial) are over 8 billion and not 1.3 billion. Furthermore the government hasn’t even released 10 percent let alone half of the 1.3 billion fictitious figure given by the information Minister. Out of the 8 billion around 3 billion is overdue for more than 4 years, and the rest 3 billion is overdue by 9 months to 15 months. The majority due to media industry is of Federal and Punjab Government.

The Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan had called a special meeting to facilitate the settlement of media dues. He had asked the federal and provincial governments to clear the undisputed dues within 30 days. However, even after 60 days almost the dues still remain unpaid. Both the federal information Minister and the federal Finance minister were present in this meeting.

The joint statement by PBA and APNS criticized the remarks by the information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, as not only being inaccurate and misleading but also not befitting a Federal Minister. To set the record straight, so far not even 10% of the total amount owed by the federal and provincial Govts has been paid, despite the assurances given by the Prime Minister Imran Khan to the APNS Executive Committee on October 16, 2018 and subsequent meetings and joint forums of PBA and APNS with the government.

The Information Minister appears to be misinformed by his ministry. It is recommended that he should reconfirm his facts before making public statements, as incorrect and false information, would reflect upon his credibility and status. The APNS and PBA request the Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan to advise the concerned ministries to honor their commitments to the Media and clear the outstanding dues.

For more information, contact:
All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS)
32, Farid Chamber Abdullah Haroon Road,
Karachi Post Code 74400
Tel: +92-21-5671256, +92-21-5671314
Fax: +92-21-5671310