ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly Standing committee on Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage has shown displeasure over absence of Managing Director Pakistan Television Cooperation Arshad Khan from the committee meeting and recommended to stop him from working till appointment of a regular MD.

The committee met Tuesday in the chair of Chairman Committee MNA Javed Latif at the PTV Headquarters and the Minister for Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary assured the committee that his ministry will cooperate with the committee and it will welcome its recommendations.

Chairman Committee Javed Latif said that the MD PTVC’s attitude is non-serious as he was called in the meeting but he did not come. He said that MD PTVC absence shows that he did not take serious the committee notice. He said that MD PTVC should not be paid monthly salary without working. He wondered that MD PTVC is not sitting in his office but getting monthly salary in millions. 

The committee members also recorded their protest to chairman over the absence of MD PTVC and said they came from different cities after long drive to sort out ongoing crisis of corporation. They said according to the schedule it was decided that MD PTVC will brief the committee on PTVC performance therefore he should have been presented in the committee’s meeting. Former Information Minister Maryam Aurganzeb also took serious notice of the absence of MD PTVC and said according to her information MD PTVC report to Secretary to Prime Minister instead of information minister. She taunted Fawad Chaudhry and said information ministry should be aware about the activities of MD PTVC.

The Information Minister told the committee that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had advertised the post of MD PTVC and it had received 42 application but incumbent MD Arshad Khan did not apply for the slot. He said PTVC is facing Rs11 billion losses but MD PTVC is taking Rs2.2 million per month and even the pensions of hundreds of employees could not be paid for the last several years.  He said when he sought business plan from the management of the corporation then they refused to brief him on it. He said that the MD has also written to PM to put ban on the PTVC union.

He said we are public representative and how can we take an anti-democracy action. Fawad said that he ordered the PTVC to give proper coverage to opposition at state channel just after resuming the charge of portfolio.  

Fawad Chaudhry also briefed the committee on the formation of Media Regularity Authority and said this authority comprising seven government institutions, including Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority, Pakistan Telecom Authority. He also said the budget of digital advertising was recorded Rs7 billion which will touch Rs12 billion this year in Pakistan. He said there is a need to regularise the digital media advertising in the country.