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The building of many voices. - Photo by White Star

ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation's (PBC) problems multiplying, its management has sent a request to the finance ministry seeking Rs1.7 billion bailout package to overcome its financial woes.

According to sources, the government had approved Rs4 billion for PBC in 2011-12 budget but the ministry released just Rs2.1 billion. They said the management had also sought creation of posts to absorb nearly 1,100 persons recruited during the Musharraf regime. However, the proposals have failed to produce any results.

The sources blame recruitments during that period for the present situation prevailing in the organisation.

An officer of PBC on condition of anonymity said: “Being a public sector organisation, PBC depends on government grant but during the last few years, it had been unable to meet its ever-increasing expenditure.”

He said the organistaion paid Rs600 million as pension and over Rs1.4 billion as salaries annually, besides other expenses under different heads including payment to contractual employees such as artists, writers, announcers, news readers, and others who contribute in different programmes and news.

The expenditures on electricity bills, security, and medical facility, etc., are in addition to that but the finance ministry is not ready to release funds, he said.

The financial woes had forced the PBC management to postpone development work of new stations and extension of coverage area till the release of funds, he maintained.

He said 15 per cent raise in salaries announced in federal budget 2011-12 was also subject to approval of the finance ministry.

The PBC Board of Directors had approved the increase and sent request to the ministry for release of funds.

The 50 per cent increase, announced last year, was given to the PBC employees from its own budget, which further aggravated financial woes of the organisation, he said.

PBC spokesman Mubashir Ahmed Majoka said despite financial crunch, there was all round improvement in programmes, news, and technical cadre of PBC and the quality of its broadcasts had greatly improved matching with international standards.

However management of the PBC has been trying its best to overcome the financial problems.

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