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AEMEND urges govt not to withdraw Pemra bill

By Our Correspondent
August 09, 2023

LAHORE: The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) has demanded Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurengzeb to make necessary amendments to the Pemra Act instead of withdrawing the bill.

In a press statement issued by AMEND, which was also tweeted by the organisation, it demanded that the bill should not be withdrawn.

The statement said it can be discussed and approved after some changes. The press release said that new PEMRA Amendments should not have been withdrawn by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.

The Pemra amendment act was a result of collective discussions between MOL, PBA, AEMEND, APNS, PFUJ and CPNE. The bill required many areas of improvement but overall, it contained some positive things as well. The bill included major initiative for worker’s rights that AEMEND and other media organisations had recommended to improve even further.

Media worker’s salaries are delayed by months by some channels and yet they enjoy government advertisement.

At the same time, it was proposed that the government makes its advertising conditional upon workers getting all their dues, including salaries cleared in time. Though the word “salary” was in the bill, it can be further changed into “dues” so that undue benefit from the confusion is not taken advantage by organisations. At the same time, the Supreme Court had recommended that the Pemra chairman be hired via parliamentary process instead by the government. This should also have been considered to further improve the perception of Pemra being an independent organisation. Improvements like these should have been deliberated further so that opposition was further minimised instead of withdrawing the bill, the statement concluded.