ISLAMABAD - On the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage spent Rs739 million on pro-government media campaign from December 2015 to February 2016, The Nation has learnt.

According to the documents available with The Nation, the Ministry of Information has sent a summary of allocation of funds for payment of outstanding advertisement dues of electronic media and print media against the federal government. The ministry requested in a summary that amount Rs739 million may be approved as a special supplementary under the financial classification

The documents further revealed a lion share Rs645 million of total advertisement was only spent on electronic media advertisements.

The ministry spent Rs161 million on the promotion of PM education reforms programme, Rs121 million on the advertisement of Montessori classes in FGS, paid Rs12 million to a private TV  channel (Roze TV) for political stability. Rs464 million spent on the different government campaigns, including Tapi Gas pipeline, PM National health, Pakistan International Airline employees strike, Pak Qatar LNG and Montessori classes in FGS from 11th December, 2015 to 25th February, 2016.

The official sources told The Nation that the Finance Ministry has also moved the summary to PM office for his official approval for special supplementary grant. They said that the summary of last three months advertisement will also send to the PM office soon and the volume of this campaign high from last campaign. The federal government issued the several advertisements in favour of government after the release of Panama leaks in the first week of April.

Earlier, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Information Kamil Ali Agha has sought the details of all media campaigns run by the federal government in the last three years. He asked the ministry and the Press Information Department (PID) to submit the all record of the amount spent on advertisements to committee.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman has also criticised the federal government for spending huge amounts on its promotional campaigns in blue eyed media groups.