Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG), in a meeting held on Sunday, regretted how the state government has made a mockery of its media policy – be it the categorization process or hike in the advertisement rates.
The meeting discussed threadbare the state government’s non-serious approach towards local media saying the advertisement rates were hiked in 2016-17 Budget session but have not been implemented yet.
“Actually the government is making a mockery of its own commitments. During 2016-17 Budget session, the government announced hike in advertisement rates and drummed it up like anything,” the meeting observed.
It noted that now that the 2017-18 Budget session too is nearing an end, the ‘enhanced rates’ in last budget have not been implemented.
“It speaks how serious the state government is about its commitments,” the members in the meeting observed.
The members regretted that some ‘interested forces’ within the government and its Information Department unnecessarily linked the hiked rates with new categorization policy.
They observed that though the KEG had, from day one, extended its support to new categorization policy and reforms, the concerned authorities did everything in a huff manner to justify their past wrongdoings.
“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,” the members felt.
Describing the whole process as fishy, the KEG asked the government to come clean about the whole issue failing which the ‘behind the curtain deals’ would be exposed in public domain.
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, they rued.
Smelling rat, the members said that government seems hell-bent on destroying the institution of media in Kashmir by indulging in multiple deceitful tactics.