Senate panel for expediting process of finalizing PEMRA Amendment Bill,Journalists Protection of Welfare Bill


ISLAMABAD, Nov 16 (APP):Senate Standing Committee on Information,Broadcasting and National Heritage on Thursday asked the ministry to expedite the process of finalization of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill,2017 and Journalists Welfare and Protection Bill,2017.
The committee meeting chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha deferred both the agenda items due to non-availability of the minister and the Secretary.
The committee constituted a three-member sub-committee to finalize a draft on the Journalists Welfare and Protection Bill in consultation with the stakeholders. Farhatullah Babar would be its convener with Nehal Hashmi and Khushbakht Shujat its members.
The committee appreciated Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb for her efforts to expedite the process of disposal of outstanding agenda items of the committee. Kamil Ali Agha said that after assuming the charge, she has taken special interest and helped the committee in disposing of outstanding business related to her ministry.
Senator Farhatullah Babar especially mentioned her contribution in enactment of Right to Information Bill.
The committee referred to Law Ministry an amendment moved by Senator Mian Muhammad Atteeq Sheikh seeking ban on telecast of unregistered traditional health tips in the morning shows for vetting.
Managing Director APP Masood Ahmed Malik informed the committee that no person was appointed in APP on fake domicile. He said there were 25 employees in the APP from Balochistan province out of which the domiciles of 23 have been verified while the remaining three were in the process of verification.
On the directives of the committee, Balochi service is being shifted to Quetta,he said. The committee further directed that Pashto News Service Desk should also be set up in Quetta . He also told that employees of Balochi services working on contract basis have been regularized.
While giving his observations ,Kamil Ali Agha remarked that federal institutions were not complying with the quota for Balochistan. He expressed the hope that the APP management would take steps for fulfilling the constitutional obligations in this regard and if needed they may be given relaxation in educational qualification. The MD APP assured the committee that steps would be taken to follow Balochistan quota in the recruitment process.
The committee asked the Ministry of IB&NH to write a letter to FIA for details of the case registered against a journalist Zafrullah Achakzai in Balochistan .
The committee was given a briefing about the total strength of employees in Press Information Department.
The meeting was attended by Senators Farhatullah Babar,Nehal Hashmi,Mian Atteeq Sheikh, Karim Ahmed Khawaja and Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhail.
Senior officials of the Ministry of IB&NH and its attached departments were also present during the meeting.