There is no doubt that Radio Pakistan has been facing a financial crisis for some time due to varying factors mainly being its low priority in the eyes of the succeeding governments in Islamabad and having no substantial source of its own income because the commercial concerns are obviously more attracted to television channels which lately have grown like mushrooms in the country.

Because of the financial and other problems, Radio Pakistan is fast losing its various programmes’ popularity and also not having popular and famous voices as the artists, singers, musicians and broadcasters to say the least.

Radio Pakistan is a national institution which is still regarded as the official spokesman of the Pakistan Government around the world and has many achievements and distinctions to its credit over the years. Its facing financial crisis is indeed a matter of concern for the people at large, particularly those living in the rural areas who somehow have little access to tv channels and have to rely on transistorised radio sets mostly.

Radio Pakistan like every other public sector organisation provides medical treatment facilities to its large number of serving and retired employees through its designated Medical Officers and Stores. The serving and retired Radio Pakistan employees, according to the information available from many of them, get medicines from the medical stores on Medical Officer’s prescriptions without making any payment. However, when the medicines are not available from designated stores due to non-payment and other reasons they obviously purchase them from their own pockets. Reimbursement of medicines so purchased takes several months due to financial constraints, particularly for the retired employees most of whom draw meagre pensions somehow.

However, it is quite appreciable and encouraging to know through the media reports that the federal government is actively deliberating on a proposal for the PTV License Fee, which electricity consumers are paying with their bills for a pretty long period at the rate of Rs 35 per month, to be raised to Rs 50 adding Rs 15 to it for generating substantial resources of about Rs 5 billion annually for easing financial problems of Radio Pakistan and reducing its dependence entirely on the funding by the federal government to a considerable extent.

Hopefully, this proposal will get the government’s nod sooner than late, electricity consumers will start paying Rs 50 per month as a TV Licence Fee every month with their power bills bringing much-needed and reserving relief to Radio Pakistan pensioners more than anything else.

ASMAAR BILAL,

Lahore.