Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Press Association (JKPA) on Saturday demanded all benefits be given to it on the lines of North-Eastern states as it has suffered immensely due to insecurity scenario prevailing for the past several decades.
In a statement here Saturday afternoon, JKPA president Ghulam Hassan Kalo said the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Government of India has approved extension of all benefits to J&K as given to Northeast States under North East Industrial Development Scheme.
This, he said, is a healthy development and likely to boost industrial development in this trouble-torn State which has suffered immensely due to insecurity scenario prevailing over here for the last several decades.
He said since media houses are at par with the Industrial establishments and providing employment to thousands of both skilled and unskilled youth besides helping the Central and State governments in the dissemination of information regarding their activities, so they need similar benefits.
Besides, Mr Kaloo said, the media houses have been acting as a bridge of communication between the government and the public through the Information and Public Relations Department and hence need more support by way of advertisements.
He said it needs to be stated that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is not comparable with any other State of India due to geographical and insecured environment. The Publishers of newspapers/ periodicals have been working under difficult conditions due to frequent strikes, restrictions, snapping of mobile and Internet services and thus cost of their production has been very high and continues to be so.
He said it was in this backdrop that the JKPA has been highlighting problems of the Media right since 2007 and recently handed over a Memorandum containing demands of the Media to Vijay Kumar Advisor to the Governor but no action seems to have been taken hitherto.
Furthermore, the majority of newspapers were subjected to sheer discrimination in respect of distribution of advertisements during the last several years but with the arrival of Tariq Ahmad Zargar, Director Information and his Associates, the situation has changed to some extent. However, they are urged to streamline the distribution of advertisements and upload them monthly on the website of the Information Department to allay misgivings and ensure transparency.