ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government agencies would be directed to spend 25 percent of their advertising and promotional budgets in state media to cover their losses.
The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by the Media Minister to direct government and semi-government agencies to advertise in state media so that a separate funds are not taken from the budget.
Earlier in September the cabinet approved funds for state media to pay salaries.
Sri Lanka is heading for a record budget deficit in 2020 after tax cuts and import controls amid a Coronavirus pandemic.
Sri Lanka’s media industry had been hit as other companies cut budgets amid a Coronavirus crisis, but state media had been making losses earlier amid an economic downturn and competition from private media.
State agencies would be directed to spend 25 percent of their promotional budgets with from Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka, and the Associated Newspapers.
Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation lost 501 million rupees in 2019 and 159 million rupees up to April 2020, according to finance ministry data.
Independent Television Network Ltd lost 627 million rupees in 2019 and 587 million rupees up to April 2020.
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation lost 105 million rupees in 2019 and 28 million rupees up to April 2020. (Colombo/Sept10/2020)