Following the protests of journalists, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, said on Monday that the PEMRA Amendment Bill 2023 will be withdrawn.
The announcement was made by the minister during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, who spoke at the gathering, stated that the government wished to repeal the ‘black laws’ of PEMRA and that she respected the concerns made by the media community about a few aspects of the bill.
The minister stated that the PML-N respects freedom of expression and will not compromise on the masses’ fundamental rights.
Ms. Aurangzeb said the bill was prepared with consultation of the stakeholders while being in opposition.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, proposed revisions to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was approved by the National Assembly.
In clause 2, an amendment suggests ensuring “fair, transparent, and independent rating to broadcasters for their TV channels.”
A new sub-section was introduced following sub-section (3) of Section 4 to propose that “the Authority shall ensure that fair, transparent, and independent forums shall issue ratings to licensees by registering rating companies.”
The minister proposed replacing clause 8 of the bill as reported by the standing committee with the following. “8. Modification of Section 20 of Ordinance XIII of 2002.- In Section 20 ” (a) of the said Ordinance, in clause (e), the term “and such material will be in addition to the preamble, and the licensee will also submit an annual compliance report to that effect or as and when necessary by the Authority;” shall be included.