APNS flays ads policies of federal, provincial govts

LAHORE – The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has flayed the federal and provincial governments policy to release their advertisements in non-APNS publications and dummy newspapers due to corruption and malpractices rampant in the government advertisements, stated a press release of the APNS on Tuesday.Sarmad Ali, Secretary General, APNS while releasing the decisions taken at the Executive Committee meeting held under the Chairmanship of its President Hameed Haroon stated that on the report of members present from across the country, the Executive Committee noted that the federal as well as the provincial govts advertisements were being doled out to dummy and non-existent newspapers which seldom appear.‘This practice not only results in the wastage of public money but also badly affects the economies of genuine publications brought out for decades’, it added.The Committee noted that newspapers especially in Balochistan were on the verge of closure due to the injudicious policy of release of government advertisements.The Executive Committee strongly urged upon the Federal and the provincial governments to act immediately to check these malpractices.The Committee also noted that the payment of government advertisements have been stuck for many months which has also increased the financial crunch in the print media.The Executive Committee considered the report of the Punjab Provincial Committee and noted with concern that the DGPR Punjab has curtailed display of advertisements which are being released only to two or three newspapers whereas the allocation of IPL advertisements to Metro B and Regional publications has been considerably slashed.

This policy has resulted in the threat of survival for many metro and regional newspapers which may result in the unemployment of hundreds of journalists and newspaper workers, it added.The Executive Committee has urged upon the Chief Minister, Punjab to intervene in the matter and ensure that the dues relating to government advertisements to newspapers are timely paid, so that the medium sized and smaller newspapers could brave the financial crisis.The APNS Executive Committee approved the report of Regional Press Committee and advised it to expedite preparations for regional Press convention to be held at Lahore in the month of January 2011 wherein the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will be invited as chief guest – Nation