The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) have discarded the statement by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry that half of the dues of media industry were paid to media houses.

APNS and PBA “take strong exception to the statement of Fawad Hussain in which he has claimed that around half of the dues of media industry have been paid to media houses and yet none of that amount has been used to pay salaries of workers,” the press release said.

In a press statement, the media bodies requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to advise the concerned ministries to honour their commitments to media and clear the outstanding dues.

Chaudhry “was quoted to say that half, Rs0.6 billion, of the Rs1.3bn have been released to media houses who kept all of the money for themselves instead of paying their journalists."

Such statements are false and can create conflict within the media industry. Previously also the minister has been making disparaging public remarks against the news media industry which is highly regrettable, the press release stated.

Furthermore, APNS clarified that the outstanding payments to media by the federal and provincial governments are over Rs8bn and not Rs1.3bn. It said that the government hasn't even released 10 percent, “let alone half of the Rs1.3bn fictitious figure given by the information minister”.