MIRPUR  -   Azad Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday strongly directed all the government departments to ensure payment of all outstanding dues of govt advertisements to the national and AJK State newspapers by May 18. All the Secretaries to the govt for all departments have also particularly been directed to ensure monitoring of payment of the dues on daily basis and keep a liaison with the Press Information Department (PID) AJK to this direction.

These directives were issued at a high-level meeting, chaired by AJK Additional Chief Secretary (General) Farhat Ali Mir held on Friday to review the process of  payment of outstanding dues to the newspapers belonging to national and AJK State Press against the government advertisements, pending against various departments since long.  The meeting also discussed the PPRA rules.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan had directed for the payment of the govt advertisement bills to the national and AJK State newspapers pending against various government functionaries since long.  Prominent among others who attended the meeting included Secretary Information, Tourism and IT Midhat Shahzad, Secretary Sports Zahoorul Hassan Gillani, Secretary Education Raja Amjad Pervaiz, Secretary Planning and Development Muhammad Ishaque Khan, Secretary Forests Dr. Shehla Waqar, Secretary Electricity Sardar Zafar Mehmood Khan, Secretary Physical Planning and Development Sharif Dar, Secretary SERRA Zahid Abbasi, Secretary Local Government Ijaz Ahmed Khan, Director General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal, Additional Secretaries to the government and  heads of various nation-building departments.

After a thorough deliberation to PPRA rules the meeting decided to raise the matter with PPRA Board. Addressing the meeting the ACS (G) Farhat Ali Mir advised the Secretaries and heads of all the govt departments to ensure payment of bills of advertisements from miscellaneous mode of development projects. He stressed that all the departments to earmark publicity funds in PC-I keeping in view the nature of the project. He said that special funds should be set aside for public awareness drive in the projects that have the element of public awareness.

The Secretary Information Ms. Midhat Shehzad and DGPR AJK Raja Azhar Iqbal apprised the House of the volume of the outstanding dues pending against the govt functionaries against the advertisements published in the national and the State media.  Farhat Ali Mir said that in line with direction of PM all the outstanding dues of advertisements should be paid before May 18 by all the departments of the State. Secretaries should hold meetings with subordinates to ensure the timely payment of the outstanding dues accordingly, he added.