LAHORE: The Punjab government has managed to formulate a mechanism to make prompt payments to publications on the request of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE).
Legislation has been prepared and sent for the cabinet’s approval for this purpose. This was informed by Punjab Government spokesperson Mohammad Ahmed Khan during the committee’s meeting held in Lahore on Wednesday, according to which the publications will be paid directly after the deduction of the agency’s commission.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Punjab Committee Vice President and Chairman, Rehmat Ali Raazi. CPNE President Zain Shahid, Secretary General Aijaz-ul Haq, Senior members Arif Nizami and Babar Nizami, Ayaz Khan, Syed Irshad Ahmed Arif, Ali Ahmed Dilloon, Zulfiqar Ahmed Rahat, Tanveer Shokat, Waqas Tahir Farooq, Mozzam Fakhar, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Nasheed Raee, Bedaar Sarmadi, Ghazi Shahid Rasheed, Muneer Ahmed Nolakha, Bashir Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Akmal Chohan, Mehtab Khan Sherwani, Aslam Mian, Sardar Abid Aleem, Syed Mohsin Zanjani, Hafeezullah Shah, Punjab Information Public Relations (PR) DG Shahid Iqbal and others attended the meeting.
“I also want that as a matter of principle, newspapers should be made their payments immediately. The government is already considering the fair distribution system of the advertisements, the suggestions that were given and the issues raised by the CPNE will all be dealt accordingly,” said the spokesperson for Punjab Government
Shahid Iqbal informed the participants that he has made payments of around two billion and a hundred and ninety million to newspapers on account of advertisements after resuming office and further payments will be made in the coming weeks.
Prior to this, CPNE President Zia Shahid informed about his supplications in the Supreme Court (SC) representing CPNE.
“We clarified that CPNE is a representative body of the Publication’s Editors, which according to its constitution has the right to submit its suggestions and proposals in regard to the mechanisms of distribution of government advertisements and the legislation required in this regard,” said Zia.
He further briefed that advertisement agencies are not making payments to the publications despite receiving their total outstanding dues from the government, due to which the Newspaper Industry is in a severe crisis.
CPNE’s Secretary General Aijaz-ul Haq while thanking the Punjab chief minister and its spokesperson said that by accepting our demand of paying the publications eighty-five per cent after deducting fifteen per cent of agency commission, the government has won the hearts of the journalist community.
In the end, it was regretted that some elements while using CPNE’s platform have protected their personal interests and the corruption of malpractitioners. We have continuously tried to stop these individuals from using our platform for their personal benefits but they have continued to endure their practices and have not hesitated to cause financial damage to their colloquies.
It was asserted that CPNE is the supreme organisation of the editors and won’t allow itself to be used by anyone for personal corruption and gains.
It was also conceded that by using CPNE’s platform, huge personal financial benefits have been acquired in the past which have caused immense damage to small regional publications and professional journalists.
The attitude of those in question was condemned in the meeting and it was decided that a committee would be formed to investigate the damage done during their terms.
Moreover, show cause notices have been issued to individuals who have used CPNE’s platform to push their own agendas forward. They have been instructed to file their response within a weeks time otherwise, disciplinary action would be taken against them.