ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman has said that in the new democratic set up, the roles of the Information Ministry and PEMRA are that of facilitators and not regulators for media. Speaking the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting in Islamabad on Saturday, she asked the electronic media to voluntarily evolve a code of conduct for itself. She urged the Committee to give policy guidelines to the Ministry in this regard.
Referring to the criticism of the members over salary package of the newly appointed MD PTV, the Minister said that there is wide gap between salaries and packages of public and private sector organization. She said there was no harm for hiring of people from private sector to improve performance of Radio and PTV.
The Committee asked PEMRA to impose a ban on advertisement of beverages with negative incitement for children. It also urged that in future Ministry of Information should not hire people against huge packages and merit and transparency should be ensured in this regard. It also emphasized the need for accelerating the process of promotions in the departments under Information Ministry.
Secretary Information Akram Shaheedi informed the Committee that Dr. Shahid Masood has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of the PTV by the Prime Minister and his package is similar to that enjoyed by his predecessor. However, Senator Saadia Abbasi pointed out that with a package of one million rupee, Dr. Shahid is getting perks and privileges better than the Federal Secretary or Minister.
Senator Tariq Azim said previously the posts of Chairman and Managing Directors were held by two different officials and their combination would take away the system of checks and balance. Chairman of the Committee Liaquat Ali Bangalzai said the Committee would review matters relating to appointment of Dr. Shahid Masood in its next meeting. Members of PTV Board of Directors would also be called in the meeting. The meeting was attended by Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Senator Maulana Samiul Haq, Senator Tahira Latif, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Naseer Mengal, Senator Javed Leghari, and Senator Tariq Azim.-SANA