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Digital Media Pakistan Sindh Trending Now

Corruption Unveiled: Sindh Information Dept. Issued Advertisements Worth 2.47 Billion to 174 Dummy Newspapers in 3 Years

Karachi (Report): The Sindh Information Department has issued advertisements worth billions of rupees to dummy newspapers over the past five years. Daily Jasarat has upheld the tradition of truth and integrity for 54 years. Jasarat’s Chief Editor, Shahnawaz Farooqi, has written letters and lodged a formal complaint to the Sindh Information Commission regarding the Sindh Information Department. The first letter under the Right to Information Act 2016, Section 11, was written on July 17, 2023, requesting details of advertisements issued to print media, electronic media, and digital media. Reminder letters were sent on August 24, 2023, and December 25, 2023. Subsequently, on October 25, the Sindh Government’s Information Department provided incomplete information. According to this, the Information Department’s budget for the year 2022-2023 was 11 billion rupees.

In the year 2021-2022, advertisements worth 2.2541 billion rupees were issued to 213 newspapers. In the same year, advertisements worth 2.7368 billion rupees were issued to electronic media. In the year 2022-2023, advertisements worth 1.468 billion rupees were issued to 216 newspapers, while electronic media received advertisements worth 8.4922 billion rupees. On October 26, Shahnawaz Farooqi wrote another letter to the Sindh Information Commission about the incomplete information provided. In response, the Sindh Government’s Information Department provided details of advertisements issued to newspapers for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022.

According to these details, in the year 2020, advertisements worth 825.568 million rupees were issued to 195 newspapers. In the year 2021, advertisements worth 2.8403 billion rupees were issued to 210 newspapers. In the year 2022, advertisements worth 1.0778 billion rupees were issued to 203 newspapers. Thus, over three years, advertisements worth 4.7438 billion rupees were issued to newspapers. Over these three years, regular newspapers, numbering 40, received advertisements worth over 2 billion rupees. Similarly, 174 dummy newspapers received advertisements worth 2.47 billion rupees over three years. Advertisements issued to regular newspapers account for 40% of the total, while dummy newspapers received 60% of the total advertisements.

Dummy newspapers pay 40% to 60% in bribes to secure these advertisements. The contract system in the Information Department ensures that shares are distributed from the bottom to the top. According to the Sindh Information Department’s statistics, Jasarat received only 2.2 million rupees in advertisements out of the total 4.7438 billion rupees over three years. The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) provincial government’s Information Department has unofficially halted advertisements to Jasarat for year 2022, 2023, and 2024. The Sindh Government’s Information Department is infamous for corruption and nepotism.

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