PAKISTAN: PTV to earn Rs4bn thru licence fee: New collection system

PAKISTAN: PTV to earn Rs4bn thru licence fee: New collection system

The Pakistan Television Corporation will become one of the few richest corporations in the country with a revenue of Rs4.1 billion annually collected through monthly television licence fee to be collected along with electricity bills

Dawn
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, June 14: The Pakistan Television Corporation will become one of the few richest corporations in the country with a revenue of Rs4.1 billion annually collected through monthly television licence fee to be collected along with electricity bills.

With an electricity consumer base of 13.9 million in the country, PTV will be able to earn a hefty amount of Rs4.1 billion annually by collecting a nominal monthly fee of Rs25 through each electricity bill - a hundred per cent jump from what the corporation was earning earlier to the tune of Rs2.1 billion from approximately seven million television licence holders in the country.

The government's decision not to air tobacco-related advertisements on the television from 6am till 12 night had unnerved PTV bosses as the corporation had lost a constant revenue of Rs280 million annually.

This revenue loss had also pushed the PTV management to roll their heads and come out with something new to generate revenue to meet the ever increasing demand of quality and excellence in its programmes.

The decision to include PTV licence fee in electricity bills has brought relief to the PTV management. "We hope that PTV would now be able to perform well as the corporation, facing continuous deficit for the last many years, would be able to meet its expenditures," a spokesman for the PTV told Dawn.

He explained that current year (2003-04) PTV deficit was running between Rs350 million and Rs400 million, and had the government not shared the burden by providing a financial assistance of Rs200 million, the corporation would have been in serious financial troubles.

The annual expenditure of PTV is about Rs3 billion, he said, adding that the decision of collecting licence fees through electricity bills would also save both the TV set holders as well as the collection staff from the many hassle involved in the collection of Rs300 as a fee per TV set.

"PTV will be out of many financial problems for a long time if we are able to earn Rs4 billion annually," he said.

The idea to collect licence fee through electricity bill was in the minds of PTV management for the last many years, but Arshad Khan, the new PTV managing director, was lucky enough as the concept got matured soon after he assumed the charge, a senior PTV officer said. However, Wapda had time and again expressed concern by pleading not to treat the department as a revenue collection agency.