Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday disclosed that there is an outstanding of Rs 9.3 crore on account of advertisement bills of local/national news/media organisations.
Replying to the question of MLC Firdous Tak in the Upper House about details of amount and pending liabilities towards various news outlets/media organisations in the last three years, the Minister of Education, Naeem Akhtar, said that the pending liability as on 31.03.2016 is Rs 9,36,36,284.
Giving the details, he said out of Rs 9.3 crore liabilities, Rs 6.34 crore is pending advertisement bills of local dailies, Rs 1.72 crore of national dailies, Rs 1.29 crore are pending bills of weeklies/fortnightlies as on March ending.
The amount released including pending payments for last three years is Rs 30.7 crore during 2013-14, 21.5 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 22.4 crore in 2015-16.
The minister said that the government has notified a policy regarding governing of advertisements to print and electronic media vide Government Order No. 09-ID of 2015 dated 04.03.2016.
Regarding steps being taken to promote language newspapers in the state, minister said that in order to promote, support newspapers in the state under the new advertisement policy 2016, the minimum paid circulation has been reduced.
"A newspaper in English should have minimum paid circulation of not less than 1000 copies per publishing per day for being considered eligible for empanelment," he said.
"However in Urdu, Hindi, Dogri, Ladakhi, Kashmiri or any other recognized language or Jammu and Kashmir it should have minimum paid circulation of 500 copies per publishing per day for being considered eligible for empanelment," the minister said adding that five stringers (translators) in Urdu, Hindi have been engaged to provide the translated version of the government press release to the language newspapers of the state.
Meanwhile, speaking in the question hour, MLC Tak said that the government should lay emphasis on promotion of language papers which are fast facing extinction in both regions of Jammu and Kashmir.