ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Television Corporation's Board of Directors has terminated the services of internal audit committee of the organization due to malpractices in conducting false audits for the past many years that had caused billions of rupees loss to state-run TV channel. This was stated by Chairman/MD PTV, Dr Shahid Masood before the Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information & Broadcasting that met here on Saturday. The Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, which met at the Parliament House, expressed its serious concern over the lack of progress in recovering the long-outstanding dues/receivables of the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) but at the same time lauded the role of Dr Shahid Masood for conducting thorough and transparent audit of the organization through international audit company, KPMG. "This is public money which must be recovered at all costs and under all circumstances especially at a time of great economic crunch", the committee observed. In response, according to sources, Chairman/MD PTV handed over the recently compiled audit report of the PTV to the members of the committee. The committee asked the Chairman/MD PTV to lodge FIRs against defaulters. "It was also decided to take stern action against those PTV black sheep who had formerly looted the organization by making illegal contracts with fake advertising agencies", said the sources. As per sources, Dr Shahid Masood also told the committee that if he were forced to resign, he would not claim the salary of six months from the organization according to legal contract, as the PTV was already being run under deficit. "If I (Masood) myself resign, I will pay the organization the amount equal to my six months' salary package as per contract", he told the committee, said sources, adding that a senior official of Information Ministry revealed to the committee that a volley of unfounded reports and a series of propaganda against Dr Shahid had been launched at the behest of those corrupt elements which had been exposed in the audit report. Dr Shahid Masood presented the members of the committee the audit report as well as the names of those corrupt big guns of the organization that had caused huge monetary loss to PTV. "Dr Shahid told the committee that he never lobbied to secure PTV's top slot, rather the government itself had invited him to uplift the sinking ship of state-run TV channel", said the sources. Chairman/MD PTV also said that he had full confidence in President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and that 'they will support me to uproot corrupt mafia from the state-run TV channel.' The meeting took serious exception to the fact that the outstanding dues were continuously increasing instead of going down and attributed this situation to lack of seriousness, lukewarm attitude and flawed strategy of those entrusted with the job of recovering the public money. It also expressed its dismay and frustration over the situation that the instructions given by the Sub-Committee for speeding up the process of recovery were not being adhered to in letter and in spirit. The Sub-Committee has given four weeks' time to the PTV to come out with "a clear-cut and complete road map of recovery", incorporating in its strategy all the earlier recommendations made by the Senate body for expediting recoveries. It instructed that a new recovery team be constituted immediately as the previous one had failed to deliver and desired that the arbitration cases must be settled within a specific time frame instead of dragging on for years. "Rs. 1.7 billion is a colossal amount which must not go down the drain", it observed. The Sub-Committee also instructed that the PTV's legal team be revamped and 'must be galvanized into action' for pursuing the legal cases vigorously and taking them to their logical end. Similarly, it asked the Corporation to immediately end the practice of barter. It also regretted that despite categorical instructions, the appointment of Credit Controller had not taken place so far adding that there should be separate teams for marketing and recovery. "The credit history/balance sheet of the potential clients must be taken into consideration while entering into business deals", it added. The Chairman/MD PTV assured the committee that the organization had traced the loopholes in marketing system and would gear up its efforts to recover longstanding dues. The meeting also expressed its serious concern over the ongoing 'tug of war' in the PTV which was adversely impacting the overall performance of a prestigious national organization and desired its immediate end to help the PTV regain its lost glory. The meeting welcomed the appointment of Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal as Secretary Information and hoped that with his rich experience and expertise, he would be able to improve things at the PTV. The meeting was attended, among others, by Senators Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, Tahira Latif, Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Additional Secretary, A.S. Abbasy, Chairman/MD PTV, Dr Shahid Masood, DMD PTV and senior officials.