ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on Tuesday clarified that it had not issued any statement to reject the PEMRA Amendments Bill 2023.
“This is to clarify that some media persons have tweeted regarding the rejection of “PEMRA amendments bill 2023”, CPNE has not issued any such statement,” the Council said in a tweet.
This is to clarify that some media persons have tweeted regarding rejection of “PEMRA amendments bill 2023”, #CPNE has not issued any such statement.
— CPNE (@TheCPNE) July 24, 2023
On July 21, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting unanimously approved the PEMRA Amendment Bill 2023, a day after it was presented in the National Assembly.
The Committee termed the bill a historic initiative for the welfare of journalists and appreciated all the efforts of all stakeholders including the government in that regard.
Briefing the Committee, the Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said amending the PEMRA law was the need of the hour as the entire scenario of the media had changed.
The minister said under the amended law, for the first time media workers were being given the right to file complaints in the Council of Complaints whereas in the past they were sacked even for demanding salaries.
Under the new bill, a three-member Committee would now have the powers to close down a TV Channel instead of the PEMRA Chairman.
The information minister said the definitions of fake news, disinformation and misinformation were also included in the bill.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said under the new bill, the fine for deliberately spreading false news had been increased from Rs 1 million to Rs 10 million. She further said under the bill, the scope of public entertainment, education, and information had been expanded.
The minister said at the federal and provincial levels, government advertisements would not be given to the electronic media houses for non-payment of salaries.
Likewise, the duration of airing advertisements would not exceed five minutes during a regular program on the electronic media.
The minister said the broadcast media licenses would be issued for 20 years and the distribution licenses for 10 years.