State Govt has made mockery of its media policy: KEG

State Govt has made mockery of its media policy: KEG

“Actually the government is making mockery of its own commitments. During 2016-17 budget session, the government announced hike in advertisement rates and drummed it up like anything,” it said.

Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) on Sunday accused the state government of making mockery of its media policy – be it the categorization process or hike in the advertisement rates.

In a statement here, Guild spokesman said that a meeting of the KEG members was held here to discuss what he called state government’s non-serious approach towards the local media. 

“The advertisement rates were hiked in 2016-17 budget session but have not been implemented yet,” the statement said. 

“Actually the government is making mockery of its own commitments. During 2016-17 budget session, the government announced hike in advertisement rates and drummed it up like anything,” it said. 

“The KEG members noted that now that the 2017-18 budget session too is nearing its end, the enhanced rates in the last budget have not been implemented till date. It speaks volumes about how serious the state government is about its commitments,” the statement said. 

The members regretted that some ‘interested forces’ within the government and its Information department “are unnecessarily linking the hiked rates with new categorization policy,” the statement said.

The members, according to the statement, observed that though the KEG had from day one extended its support to the new categorization policy and reforms, “the authorities concerned did everything in a huff-huff manner to justify their past wrong doings. 

“The way the categorization issue is being dealt with poses more questions than it answers. It seems the government is keen to get its favourites in top categories ignoring the basic realities that exist on the ground,” it said.

Describing the whole process as “fishy”, the KEG asked government to come clear on the whole issue failing which the “behind the curtain deals” would be exposed in public.

Expressing serious concern over the delay in making the payments, the members said that with every fresh advertisement received from Information Department, the newspapers have to pay GST instantly.

However, the Information Department “sleeps over the bills and pays only thrice or four times a year,” the statement added.

“Smelling rat, the members observed that government seems hell bent to destroy the institution of media in Kashmir by indulging in multiple deceitful tactics,” it said.