NA body expresses concern over improper check and balance of PEMRA

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 21 (APP):The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday expressed indignation over the improper check and balance system of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Private Media Channels especially from 7 pm to 8 pm daily and directed it to propose amendments in the existing rules to streamline private TV channels. The meeting of the committee chaired by Mian Javed Latif directed PEMRA to strictly control defamation of parliamentarians and others by so the called analysts of TV channels , who feel free to defame anyone without any check. On objectionable behavior, the analyst, guest should not be called by the channel next time.

Javed Latif said PEMRA used to take action on the defamation of powerful people and keep mum on defamation of common and mediocre persons including parliamentarians and others.

He expressed its indignation over the handling of bringing objectionable object (Boot) in the programme of Kashif Abbasi by PEMRA.

Chairman Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Saleem Baig said the private TV channel ARY had tendered written apology on airing the programme of Kashif Abbasi on January 14. The Pemra’s action against the channel was held in abeyance. The ARY has been summoned on January 24 for hearing their point of view on their request. The final decision will be taken after hearing the channel.

He said the PEMRA took immediate action and directed ARY to avoid repeating the programme of Kashif Abbasi but ARY did not obey and repeated the programme. On this PEMRA issued show cause notice, however the action was held in abeyance on the request of ARY.

He said PEMRA has drafted laws to control Web TV Channels. The draft law has been sent to PTA and other stake holders for fine tuning and vetting.

The Committee directed that Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to hold an impartial investigation regarding misuse of funds of Rs. 100 million released by Sindh government for purchase of Transmitter for Radio Station, Khairpur Mirs, Sindh in 2010/11 and fix responsibility so that culprits could be penalized accordingly and report may be submitted to the Committee in the next meeting.

The Committee unanimously recommended that the two Bills moved by Syed Fakhar Imam, MNA as introduced in the National Assembly may be passed.“The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019.” “The Associated Press of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2019.”

The committee deferred two bills due to the absence of two movers. One Bill titled “The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019.” The Bill was moved by Amjad Ali Khan, MNA.Another Bill titled The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies, and Book Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2019.The Bill was moved by Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel, MNA.

The meeting was attended by Engr. Usman Khan Tarakai, Tahir Iqbal, Muhammad Akram, MNA, Muhammad Alamgir Khan, Aftab Jahangir, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ms. Maiza Hameed, Ms. Syma Nadeem, MNA, Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, Ms. Naz Baloch, & Mover of the Bill and Officials of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and its attached departments.