J&K govt to pay ad charges to newspapers on monthly basis

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Shahid Wani::::::::::::

The  Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to make payments to newspapers and periodicals on account of advertisement charges on a monthly basis from the next financial year to avoid piling up of liabilities.

“We are putting in place a plan of action for the next financial year to ensure release of payment on account of advertisements to newspapers and periodicals on a monthly basis,” Director of Information Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said at a review meeting of his department here.

As many as 368 newspapers and periodicals, including 201 in Jammu and 167 in Kashmir, are presently empanelled with the Department of Information for release of official advertisements.

Choudhary said as the government has already released 50 per cent of allotted budget for the financial year 2017-18, it should enable the department to make payments to newspapers and periodicals regularly on a monthly basis.

He said the Directorate of Information has for the current year released Rs 16.83 crore till date to the Joint Directors of Information in Kashmir and Jammu for payment of advertisement bills, out of the total annual budget of around Rs 30 crore.

“We are trying our best to ensure that the newspapers and periodicals are not put to any inconvenience on account of payment of advertisement bills,” he said adding various initiatives have been taken to ensure transparency in allotment of advertisements and regular release of payments.

He said the department is planning to clear all the previous liabilities of the newspapers and periodicals on account of advertisements by March so that “we can begin with a clean slate and zero liability” for the next financial year.

“The department is already in the process of putting in place a comprehensive and transparent advertisement distribution mechanism by classifying the empanelled newspapers and periodicals in the different categories, in tune with the guidelines laid down in the Advertisement Policy-2016,” he said

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