SRINAGAR, Dec 28: Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has expressed its serious concern over the failure of the Governor administration’s Public Relations and Information set-up in living up to the expectations and its inability to retain its status of being responsive and responsible towards the principal stakeholders, the media.
“There has been a literal collapse of the communication between the media and the department as a result of which the media is facing serious tensions,” alleged KEG in a statement, issued here today.
Alleging attempts of weakening KEG as main custodian of the media in Kashmir, if not actually dismantling it, the statement further said that the department custodians have been playing the numerical card and avoiding acknowledging the main media that runs the show for the society. “The department has been working overtime, even before the Governor’s administration took over, to inflate the stake holding so that KEG’s ideas and suggestion get dumped in the pandemonium of numbers and associations,” the Guild further alleged and added that the department has been liberally accommodating the new “stakeholders” on the advertisement front in such a way that it is used as a quid pro quo.
Flaying the GST systems, under which the Government and all the advertisers are supposed to pay tax on the bills raised against them and this amount is being paid to the Taxes Department by the newspapers, the KEG alleged that the Information Department was not paying this tax and actually deducting the same amount from the bills raised. “The newspapers, however, have been paying this amount from their own accounts. This means they pay the GST twice, one to the Information Department and the other chunk to the Taxes Department – both from their own earnings,” KEG explained and added that despite the Finance Department’s formal order to stop this malpractice, the Information Department has not even initiated the exercise for halting their broad daylight illegality.
“In fact, the officials who should have been in jail for resorting to this malpractice are devising systems and process to kill the media,” alleged the KEG and urged the Governor’s administration to enforce accountability in the department and revamp it.