All advertising and marketing programs of State entities suspended and to be reviewed

All authorized advertising and marketing programs of State entities have been suspended and ordered to be subjected for review by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Daily FT reported that a directive in this regard has been issued by Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera to all Chairmen and Board of Directors of State enterprises, State agencies, State banks and insurance companies.

According to the directive, all ongoing advertising and marketing programs have been instructed to be suspended to ensure that such expenses are incurred in the best interest of the organization’s corporate development strategy within the Government’s National Development Program.

The heads of institutions have been advised not to commit to sponsorships before obtaining prior special approval from the Director General of the Public Enterprises Department of the General Treasury.

They have also been ordered to provide details of approved advertising budget for 2020 and actual expenditure to date along with commitments and also the budget activities for 2021 to the Treasury Secretary.

Meanwhile, Opposition MP Harsha de Silva questioned if the move was part of a plan to direct billions of advertising money to select friendly media institutions and muzzling the media.

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP further said that as per the directive issued by the President, upon Treasury approval some sponsorships may be approved on a case by case basis for 2021.

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