Srinagar: The J&K Government on Tuesday constituted two separate sub-committees for Kashmir and Jammu divisions to review whether the newspapers and periodicals empanelled by Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) meet the norms set out in the Advertisement Policy-2016 and recommend delisting of any approved newspaper violating the said Advertisement Policy.
The sub-committees shall have the powers to recommend delisting of the approved newspapers and periodicals in light of the Provision 6.1 of the Advertisement Policy-2016, if these publications violate the said advertisement policy in any respect, an official spokesperson said.
On the basis of the recommendations made by these sub-committees, the Empanelment Committee headed by Administrative Secretary Information shall have the freedom and the competency to delist any approved newspaper and periodical in the interest of the professional ethics from the approved list.
According to an order issued by the Secretary Information, M H Malik, the newly constituted Sub-Committees for the review of newspapers will be headed by the Director Information.
The Sub-Committee for Kashmir province shall comprise Joint Director Information Kashmir, Deputy Director Information (PR) Kashmir, Representative of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations and an officer from Media Education Research Centre (MERC) Srinagar as members.
Similarly, the Sub-Committee for Jammu province shall comprise Joint Director Information Jammu, Deputy Director Information (PR) Jammu, Representative of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations and an officer from IIMC Jammu as members.
The Sub-Committees shall have the mandate to review whether the approved newspapers meet the norms set out in the Advertisement Policy-2016 and recommend delisting of any approved newspaper violating the Advertisement Policy.
The Sub-Committee shall also afresh examine the existing circulation/reach and professional standards of the approved newspapers/periodicals and recommend to the Government for placing the same under the appropriate category for release of government advertisements.
The decision to constitute the sub-committee for the review of approved newspapers in light of Advertisement Policy-2016 was taken by the Media Empanelment Committee at its meeting convened in Jammu on 27 March 2017 under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, B B Vyas, then Administrative Secretary Information.
Pertinently, 368 newspapers approved by the Government are presently getting official advertisements from the DIPR while 99 fresh newspapers and periodicals have been approved for advertisement support earlier this month taking the total number of empanelled newspapers in the State to 467.
During the financial year 2016-17, the State Government paid Rs 32 crore to the newspapers against advertisements and past liabilities while for the current fiscal the advertisement budget is to the tune of Rs 30 crore.
Out of Rs 32 crore payment made to the newspapers last fiscal, Rs 2.53 crore were paid to the national newspapers while around Rs 14 lakh were paid as financial support to wire services including PTI and UNI, and four local news agencies by way of monthly subscription charges.