ISLAMABAD -  Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday told a Senate body that working paper for parliamentary monitoring of channels' ratings will be finalised in two months.

A Senate Standing Committee on Information meeting was held under the chair of Senator Kamil Ali Agha.

Talking about the TV rating system, the committee suggested that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) should form a mechanism of a reliable rating system as present system was not satisfactory.

Aurangzeb said that the Pemra was a regulator and it had no control over the rating system. “Regional practices would be followed in this regard,” she said. She assured the committee that her ministry would present a working paper on the rating system within two months.

Pemra Chairman Absar Alam said that Pemra had no direct link to the rating and it was an issue of the Pakistan Broadcasting Authority and the Pakistan Advertisers Association.

The chairman of the committee said that notice should be taken of the broadcast of “immoral and controversial advertisements” on channels.

The Senate committee asked the Pemra to go ahead with its plan to launch an indigenous direct to home (DTH) television system.

Alam told the committee regarding the DTH bidding and said that the Pemra held a successful meeting with cable operators on Sunday night and decided that Pakistani DTH would be launched in November 2017 by giving time to cable operators for up gradation of their systems. However, later the cable operators announced to shut down cable, he said.

Alam said that cable operators had no problem with illegal Indian DTH and demanded to lift a ban on Indian content. But they want abolishment of the DTH launch plan by the Pemra, which was strange. Committee Chairman Agha and other members assured the Pemra chairman of their support in launching the new technology of DTH. Alam said as per rules all TV channels were bound to establish their editorial committee functional to ensure self-accountability.

He said that some of the anchor persons did not abide by the decisions of the editorial committee.

Committee member Nehal Hashmi pointed out that through a conspiracy, moral fibre of the new generation was being destroyed through objectionable advertisements being telecast by various TV channels. The committee asked the Pemra to take action against such advertisements.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb told the committee that the Pakistan National Council of Arts was being activated to engage children and youth.

She said that the private sector was being involved in educating the new generation in arts, culture and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at the PNCA.

Moreover, special programmes will be organised at the PNCA on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Quaid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Under a short-term plan, the PNCA art and children club was being set up and the cultural curriculum was being prepared, she said. Under a long-term plan, the national film academy and music academies will be set up and the Islamabad film festival will be organised, the minister said.

On the issue of harassment of female PTV anchors, the committee recommended that steps should be taken to make the culprit an example so that nobody should even think of victimisation of women at the workplace.

Aurangzeb told the committee that in many cases, the accused had filed appeals against the Ombudsman's decisions and she would write a letter to the president requesting him to expedite the process.