SRINAGAR: The Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) has released a payment of Rs 32.05 crore during the fiscal 2016-17 to the newspapers and periodicals on account of the past liabilities and the advertisements issued under the budget head during the last financial year. The Department has decided to upload on its official website the details of payment made to individual newspapers and periodicals as has been demanded by Editors Guild Kashmir and other forums.
In addition, advertisements of the PSUs and autonomous bodies valuing around Rs 5 crore have been issued to the newspapers and the periodicals under the non-budgeting head by DIPR during the past fiscal.
Pertinently, the payment of the advertisements of various government departments issued under the budget head is made by the DIPR while the payment of the advertisements issued through DIPR under the non-budget head is made by the concerned PSUs and autonomous bodies to the newspapers directly after verification of the bills by the respective Joint Directors of Information.
Against the advertisement budget of Rs 22 crore allocated to the DIPR for the year 2015-16, the Finance Department had initially approved a budget allocation of Rs 25 crore for the year 2016-17. However, on the request of DIPR an additionality of Rs 2.80 crore was provided to the Department during the past fiscal to clear the previous liabilities.
Accordingly, the DIPR made a cumulative payment of Rs 27.80 crore to the newspapers in the both the divisions during the past fiscal on account of the budgeted advertisement bills, out of which around Rs 10 crore were paid towards clearing past liabilities while the remaining amount was paid on account of past year’s advertisement bills. In addition advertisements worth around Rs 5 crore were issued to the newspapers under the non-budget head last year.
As the Government has already released 50% of allotted budget for the financial year 2017-18, another Rs 3 crore were released to the respective Joint Directors of Information last month for making payment to the newspapers on account of advertisement bills.