Radio Pakistan is facing a deficit of Rs2.25 billion and is still rising, causing non-payment of salaries and pension to its staff.
The Director General of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Tahir Hassan, has mentioned that one of the primary reasons for this increase is the cessation of Grant in Aid worth around Rs 120 million to each station, which was provided by China Radio International.
Meeting of Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting was held here at Parliament House on Friday with Senator Irfan ul Haq Siddiqui in Chair. The Senate Body deliberated on financial issues faced by Radio Pakistan.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui proposed a new fee of Rs500 to be charged from all vehicle owners at the time of registration and token fee payment. Additionally, he instructed the PBC to prioritize the payment of salaries and pensions to all employees and pensioners before the 20th of Ramadan.
Senator Syed Waqar Mehdi inquired about the outstanding dues, which are not being paid by private individuals or entities in last few years and what measures are taken by PBC regarding the recovery of dues.
DG PBC stated that the outstanding dues currently stands at approximately Rs75 million and PBC has written letter to all defaulters for the payment of dues but unfortunately no recovery has been made so far.
Mehdi also pointed out that PBC has properties located at prime locations in different cities all across the country but unfortunately, PBC has leased these properties to private stakeholders at throw away prices and in order to combat this financial crisis PBC need to revisit these leased properties.
While Appointing the Additional Secretary Sohail Ali Khan as Coordinator for PBC, Senator Irfan Siddiqui directed the PBC to come up with a comprehensive plan which could help PBC in attaining financial independency.
He also stated that Radio Pakistan is our asset and we will leave no stone unturned in making PBC financially independent. The meeting was attended by Senator Syed Waqar Mehdi, Additional Secretary for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Sohail Ali Khan,DG PBC Tahir Hassan and other senior officers of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation were also in attendance.