PTV Defends 180% Increase in License Fee That Everyone Has to Pay

Days after the news of a hike in PTV’s license fee made headlines, the state-run channel has issued a statement to defend its decision.

The management of PTV faced a massive backlash on social and mainstream media for relying on the money from power consumers to meet its financial expenses and for not having a business plan of its own.

In response to the criticism, the state entity has now released a statement saying that this a global practice.

Public broadcasters are supported by their respective governments through TV license fees all around the world to project their national narrative, undertake non-viable development projects of transmission dissemination, carry out commercially non-viable educational and information content necessary for national development and integration, social harmony and peace.

It noted that several developed countries charge a hefty monthly fee from their citizens to fund their national channels.Countries like the UK, France, Germany, and Turkey charge a monthly TV license fee to fund BBC, France TV, DW, and TRT, respectively.

It added that the fee (Rs. 35) charged by the government of Pakistan in the name of a TV license is much lower as compared to other countries.

Contrary to inside reports, the statement claimed that PTV earned an operational profit of Rs. 300 million during the financial year 2018-2019 after accumulating losses for three consecutive years between 2015 and 2018.

Rebuffing the information that a fee increment proposal was signed and sent to Prime Minister for approval, the state-run broadcaster said that such activities are part of every board of directors meeting, thus, should not be taken as a decision.

In every BoD meeting, a status update of the ongoing plans is reviewed, and existing strategies are fine-tuned based on operational ground realities. Therefore, the minutes of one or two BoD meetings cannot be construed as the complete plan of action of the organization as it is just a small part and not the whole.

It maintained that the media and the masses should not establish an impression based on a piece of information that does not reflect its future strategy.