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Tuesday May 28, 2024

Journalist bodies’ concern: Govt withdraws Pemra amendments bill

The decision came during a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting

By News Desk
August 08, 2023
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authoritys office. — Ministry of Information and Broadcasting website/file
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's office. — Ministry of Information and Broadcasting website/file

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to withdraw the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, after journalists’ association voiced concerns, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday.

The decision came during a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, chaired by Senator Fouzia Arshad, on the proposed amendments under the new Pemra law that redefined “disinformation”.

Aurangzeb apprised the meeting that the incumbent government wanted to abolish the old “black” Pemra law through the Pemra Amendment Ordinance. She said that more recommendations on the law are pouring in, so “it is better” that the next government looks into this matter.

“It is better to have a detailed discussion rather than deciding in a limited time,” she said only as only a few days are remaining in the completion of the incumbent government’s term. However, the journalists’ associations registered strong opposition against the government’s move, saying that the proposed amendments should have been discussed. The Senate had referred the Pemra law to the relevant standing committee of the Senate after it was tabled in the Upper House on August 4. The NA Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting had approved the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, in July, with a new definition of disinformation.