Information Minister Attaullah Tarar shared that the country’s newspapers received advertisements worth Rs9 billion while news channels were allocated Rs6 billion in government advertisements.
Responding to Senator Sarmad Ali Khan’s query regarding the criteria for news channels and newspapers, the minister emphasised that the newspapers were facing a financial crisis, prompting the current government to provide special attention and support.
Tarar explained that, according to the 1997 Services Manual, advertisements are distributed to news and media outlets. He added that a new advertisement policy was introduced in 2021 and amended in 2022.
“There is no specific criteria to gauge the eligibility of electronic media for advertisements. However, our rates committee allocates advertisements based on the ratings of news channels,” he said.
The minister confirmed that no advertisements for any news channel had been halted by the current government. He further clarified that the main criterion for advertisements is to effectively convey the intended message to the maximum audience, with the rating system for news channels aiding in this goal.
Additionally, the Audit Bureau of Circulation verifies the circulation figures of newspapers and issues advertisements to the most widely circulated ones, he added.
Tarar mentioned that a 10% duty on imported paper used for newspapers was initially imposed but later waived off in Budget 2024-25, with no new taxes imposed due to the prevailing financial crisis.
He urged the House to improve and make the current advertisement policy more effective under the guidance of the mover of the question and the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS).
Earlier, the minister praised the prime minister for successfully concluding his visit to Astana for the Leaders Forum under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), where he advocated for the rights of innocent Palestinians.
“The Prime Minister vehemently argued the case of Palestine, demanding that Israel be held accountable for the genocide of innocent Palestinians, with two million people displaced,” he said. 
Pakistan, he added, maintains a clear stance that a free Palestine should be recognised within its pre-1967 boundaries with Al Quds as its capital, and a ceasefire should be implemented as the only viable solution.

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