Log in

Govt. should take measures to stop harassing media houses by the Tourism department

Procedural lapses in the state government Tourism Department in media-related activities is evident enough to show how other matters related being taken up for the promotion of the Tourism Department would have been conducted. Knowingly or unknowingly media advertisement issued by the Department for Tourism related festival organized under the aegis of the state government has not been properly followed, which is a gross violation of the Manipur State Advertisement Policy 2013.
For almost all advertisements published in local dailies in connection with tourism-related events including the largest state Tourism Festival held in 2019, no payment has been so far cleared. The Tourism department authority sent the advertisement for publication to newspapers through the DIPR. On being enquired about the payment and amount approved, the answer from the DIPR authority is that media houses have to directly submit the bill amount to the Tourism Department.  
This newspaper has brought up this issue in November 2016 when there was Congress government
This paper highlights the issue not because this paper has not been able to submit any bill for the advertisement published for the Tourism department.  But it is people’s right to know how the government machinery is functioning whether or not on the behest of their superior. Imphal Times, being an evening daily can’t go for competition with the high-quality newspaper published in the morning but the management did try its best to promote the quality of journalism through unbiased reporting.
So highlighting the issue of a State Government Department violating the government rules and regulations, the Imphal Times gains no benefit. It is only an attempt to correct what is wrong in the system. But the question now is who will bell the cat?
The government always talks for strengthening the Directorate of Information and Public Relation, that is in charge of the department as well the State Tourism Department which had violated the Manipur State Advertisement Policy 2013. For sure a mere apology to mend the mistake may end the matters without awarding any sort of punishment, even as it is a complete violation of the rules framed by his government.
According to the Manipur State Advertisement policy, it is mandatory for every government department or agency under the state government to publish any form of advertisement through the DIPR. Clause 9 of the Manipur State Advertisement Policy says that All Government advertisements, both classified and display shall be released through DIPR only. And clause 24 of the state advertisement policy mention that if any Government advertisement is issued in violation of the provisions of clause 9, the head of Department /Office concerned will be personally responsible for payment of advertisement bills from his/her account. Again the clause 25 of the advertisement policy also said that Treasury officers/Sub-Treasury Officers shall withhold bills for payment of govt. an advertisement that has not been routed through DIPR. This means that all payments should be through the DIPR and not necessarily the department’s concern.
Asking the media houses to collect advertisement fees from the government department and not through the Directorate of Information and Public Relations by submitting the bill to the concerned department is the worst form of harassment to media houses.
Tourism department authority should be given a class on Manipur State Advertisement policy by the DIPR at the earliest possible time.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

Leave a comment

Please do not post Hate Speech, derogatory, racist, obscene, spam comments.