Private TV channels in Pakistan set for strict monitoring

June 20th, 2009 - 6:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, June 20 (ANI): The Pakistan People’s Party government has finally set up a complete infrastructure to monitor private channels in the country and have hired a private company for this purpose.

Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has confirmed that it was after the government’s nod that Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) hired ‘TRASE’, a private firm to supervise the telecast of private TV news channels, so that they rigorously abide by the Pemra laws and policy, The News reports.

According to the agreement, the new firm will monitor the telecasted programmes, as well as advertisements of these news channels.

“As per Pemra regulations all the TV channels are allowed to air advertisements for only 12 minutes in an hour (4 hours and 48 minutes in 24 hours), which is not followed by any channel,” Malik said.

Chairman of Pemra, Mushtaq Malik, has rejected the allegation that the firm was hired without advertising in the newspapers and without following layout procedure.

Malik and executive member of Pemra Dr Jabbar, claimed that the advertisement in this regard was published in newspapers and ‘TRASE’ was selected after full scrutiny.

Mushtaq also claimed that not a single channel has ever paid 5% of their revenues to Pemra or the government, as stipulated.

“Another regulation says all these channels are supposed to pay the government 5 per cent of their gross annual revenue,” Malik said.

Mustaq asserted that Pemra has written to the SECP in this regard. He was of the view that for claiming the outstanding amount from the channels there was a dire need of some firm which could properly monitor all these things. (ANI)

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