A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Faisal Javaid at PTV Headquarters today on 8th of July 2021.
Public Petition No. 3788, regarding fulfillment of contract by PTVC, forcing and addendum, non-payments and discrimination, referred to the Committee on 25° June. 2021 was examined in detail. MD PTV and Secretary Information and Broadcasting briefed the committee on the matter in detail. Secretary Information and Broadcasting assured that the matter would be resolved at the earliest. Senator Irfan Siddiqui raised the question as to why agreements are being signed with the private party to produce films and dramas despite PTV having all the resources. MD PTV informed the committee that due to some unavoidable reasons and lack of modern technology, private firms are being roped in for such ventures.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui questioned that why PTV gives so much money to private organizations, Things can be improved if the same money is spent by PTV on the purchase of equipment and modern technology.
Informing the committee, MD PTV said that in the last two years, PTV has moved from deficit and is being transformed into a profitable organization. Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar asked MD PTV that the issue between the private company and PTV should be resolved through arbitration if possible. The Chairman of the Committee, while instructing the Secretary Information and MDPTV, said that the matter should be resolved in accordance with the arbitration clause contained in the agreement and every effort should be made to ensure that no one is abused. The committee should be kept informed of the progress being made on matter.
The committee was briefed in detail about the work and performance of PTV. Regarding the budget and work of PTV, MD PTV said that PTV has managed to increase its annual revenue to Rupees 11 Billion. Of which annual expenditure is about Rs. 7 to 8 billion. MD PTV informed in detail about the digitization of PTV broadcasts and said that PTV broadcasts will be fully digitalized by December this year. Informing the committee about shifting the broadcasts to HD quality, he said that PTV broadcasts on analogy of private sector will be presented in HD quality as soon as possible.
Chairman Committee, Senator Faisal Javed, while seeking clarification regarding the introduction of PTV broadcasts to the public through digital and social media, expressed displeasure over the unnecessary delays in the process. MD PTV told the committee that no investment has been made in the last 15 years for provision of modern technology to PTV and we are trying to make PTV a world class organization with minimum budget so that PTV can be transformed into voice of the nation internationally The Chairman Committee directed the concerned officers to present a comprehensive plan for digitization of PTV at the next meeting of the Committee.
Chairman Committee Senator Faisal Javaid while seeking details of the recommendations during the previous meetings of the committee and their implementation said that we should be informed to what extent the previous recommendations of the committee have been implemented so far.
Senator Aun Abbas asked MD PTV about the assets of the national institution across the country. On which Chairman Committee Senator Faisal Javed issued instructions to present the details of all assets of the institution in the next meeting of the committee. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib assured the committee that the positive instructions of the committee would be fully implemented. Every possible step will be taken for the betterment of PTV.
The Chairman of the Committee inquired that despite the repeated recommendations of the Committee, whenever the sessions of National Assembly and the Senate are convened simultaneously only the proceedings of the National Assembly are broadcasted live, due to which the proceedings of the Senate do not reach the general public. On which MD PTV told the committee that there is no separate channel for PTV Parliament it is being run by interrupting the broadcast of PTV National. He assured to take steps to stream the proceedings of the Senate directly from the digital platform, In case of simultaneous proceedings of both the houses.
The meeting was attended by Senator Aun Abbas, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Kokhar, Senator Muhammad Tahir Bazinjo Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui, Senator Kamran Michael, Senator Naseema Ehsan, Senator Omar Farooq, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and senior officials of the concerned Ministry.