ISLAMABAD - Qamar Zaman Kaira Tuesday informed the Lower House of the Parliament that the federal government had provided Rs 9.63 billion as grant-in-aid to PTV and Radio Pakistan from 2008 to 2012 to bridge the gap between its income and expenditure.

In his written reply submitted in the house, Minister for Information and Broadcasting told the National Assembly that a total of Rs 1.58 billion in 2008, Rs 1.72 billion in 2009, Rs 1.77 billion in 2010, Rs 2.16 billion in 2011 and Rs 2.4 billion in 2012 were given to PTV and Radio Pakistan as grant-in-aid.

Answering to another question, the Minister said that no subsidy was given to PTV. However, an amount of Rs 1.03 billion was received in 2008-9 against PTV Non-Viable Project and Rs 60 million for recurring expenses of PTV Multan during 2011-12.

Parliamentary Secretary for Communication Chaudhary Saeed Iqbal informed the National Assembly that the President Asif Ali Zardari would perform the ground breaking of Karachi-Hyderabad Superhighway (M-9) on March 6. Replying to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, he said that contract was awarded to Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for construction of M-9.

He said that earlier the contract was awarded to a Malaysian company on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis; however, it failed to reach at financial close stage. The Secretary said that NHA did not carry out rehabilitation or periodic maintenance since fiscal year 2009 due to planned conversion of M-9 to Motorway.

He said that the NHA had awarded around 28 maintenance contracts under annual maintenance plan 2012-13 to improve the dilapidated road condition and keep M-9 in road worthy condition.