ISLAMABAD - The government has spent more than seven billion rupees on advertisements during last three years.

In a written reply to the National Assembly, Minister for information Pervaiz Rashid said that the total value of official advertisements given to newspapers, magazines and periodicals since March 2013 to July 31, 2016 come to Rs7,288,043,959. He said the Press Information Department has been releasing the government advertisements to local newspapers in accordance with the Centralized Advertisement Policy of the federal government.

He said the primary consideration is to obtain maximum publicity for the message contained in the advertisement. The advertisements are released in transparent manner and in accordance with the specific requirements of the sponsoring departments. He said at small towns, districts and backward areas, the Government has fixed quota of 25% of total advertisements as regional quota.

Minister said an amount of Rs. 2,775,268,045 has been incurred on account of electronic media advertisement during the period from 01-03-2013 to 31-07-2016.

During the question hour Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that Pakistan Meteorological Department has a network of seven radars at Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Karachi, Mangla, D.I. Khan and Rahim Yar Khan.

All these radars are operational and providing output for prediction of weather systems and issuance of warnings. However, most of the radars are based on old technology and input of new technology is required. He said a weather’s radar is being installed in Mardan with the funding of Government of Pakistan and two more radars are being installed at Islamabad and Karachi with the assistance of Government of Japan.

Answering a question, he said PIA has introduced its premier service to provide better travelling facilities to the people. He said presently there is only one aircraft in the service and two more are being acquired. Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb told the House that PEMRA has always reacted to all misdeeds and violations of its licensees whenever red line is crossed. She said the government is bringing a legislation for the safety and security of journalists.