The new advertisement policy prepared by the department of information is likely to get a nod from state cabinet which is meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah at Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.
The new policy is coming up to counter the ever-increasing number of newspapers that according to officials has become a cause of concern for the Department, “as after completing one year of publication the newspapers approach the department for empanelment for advertisements.”
According to figures, there are 622 newspapers of different periodicity—-332 from Jammu and 290 from Kashmir. As of now, 375 newspapers are approved for Government advertisements with the Directorate of Information.
In the new Advertisement Policy, which has been prepared by the Director Information in consultation with the department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the Department of Information has proposed to increase the minimum period of consideration of newspaper for advertisement from existing one year to three years, sources informed. They said that minimum period of waiting in case of change in periodicity is also being increased.
“Due to this there has been a mismatch in budgetary provision for advertisements and the actual requirement of funds by the department and given the prevailing situation any further addition in the number of newspapers will worsen the situation.”
Besides periodical review and update, according to new policy those newspapers which act in a way prejudicial to the unity and integrity of the country and the State; publish inflammatory materials likely to foment communal disharmony, regional tension and promote secessionism; indulge in the publication of obscene material violating public decency and moral values and violate journalistic code as enunciated by the Press Council of India will not be approved for the advertisements.
Moreover, under the new policy newspapers will be categorized on the basis of the recommendation of a committee, which will give due consideration to the circulation, production standard, content, number of pages, number of journalists and employees etc. Under the policy, Chief Minister will have powers to relax all or any provision in exceptional cases.