Senate panel approves govt’s bill on right of access to information

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ISLAMABAD, May 29 (APP): Senate Standing Committee on
Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Monday gave
approval to the government bill titled ” The Right of Access to
Information Bill, 2017″ referred by the house to the committee.
The meeting chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha appreciated the
contribution of Senator Farhatullah Babar and his sub-committee and
Minister of State for IB&NH Marriyum Aurangzeb in finalization of
the bill.
Senator Babar said the bill prepared by the government
was in fact improved version of the bill prepared by the IB&NH
committee and the impression given by the section of the press that
the changes were not correct.
Appreciating Law Division for improving the language of the
bill, Kamil Ali Agha said the credit for its finalization goes to
both the committee and the government.
Discussing the Journalists Welfare and Protection Bill the
committee asked the government to present its draft within 15
days, otherwise the committee itself would prepare its draft and for
this purpose a sub-committee would be constituted.
Secretary IB&NH Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera said the government
wants early finalization of the bill and consultation with all
stake holders is being done for this purpose.
The committee expressed its concern over the violation of
Ramzan sanctity by a section of the electronic media.
Nehal Hashmi said by watching such programmes, the new
generation would think that Ramzan was a festival only.
Mushahidullah said some channels were working on the agenda to
defame Islam.
Secretary IB&NH Sukhera said the issue has been taken
seriously and the ministry and PEMRA have prepared a guideline and three television channels have been issued show cause notice at the night of first Ramzan for violation of this guideline.
The committee was given presentation about the budgetary
allocations for the current financial year for IBNH and National
History and Literacy Division.
The meeting was attended by Farhatullah Babar, Nehal
Hashmi, Rubina Khalid, Khawaja Karim, Dr Ashok Kumar and Sussui Palejo.