ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on In­formation and Broadcasting was told on Wednesday that Rs 1 bil­lion of pending dues of electronic and print media on account of ad­vertisements were paid by March 2020. Secretary Information and Broadcasting Akbar Durrani told the committee about payment of dues to the media.

While giving further details, Principal Information Officer Shahera Shahid told that the gov­ernment wanted that the issue of payment of advertisement dues of media organizations and the payment of salaries of journalists should be linked.

She said State Bank of Pakistan gave loan facility to media orga­nizations during the coronavirus pandemic and a leading media outlet availed the facility to pay salaries to its employees.

The committee chaired by Sen­ator Faisal Javed expressed con­cern over the non-payment and delay in salaries to journalists and job losses in media industry.

The committee was told that the issues regarding outstand­ing dues on account of adver­tisements was taken up by all government entities on the di­rection of the Prime Minister which resultantly expedited the process of payments to media organisations.

The committee was given briefing on the structure and working of Digital Media Wing in the Information Ministry.

Senator Musadik Masood Ma­lik raised the issue regarding airing of incorrect map of Paki­stan during live transmission of Pakistan Television. The MD informed that the PTV manage­ment took serious notice and immediately constituted an in­quiry committee for probing the mishap.

The MD told that on showing of wrong map of Pakistan on PTV, two producers were terminated and Islamabad High Court also upheld the decision of their termination. The Senators expressed their dis­may on discrimination on the ac­tion taken against the employees on the basis of the inquiry report and asked the MD to explain his stance in the next meeting.