Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday said the Government was planning to make amendments to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) laws after consultations with all the stakeholders.
“We are bringing amendments in the PEMRA rules and talks are being held with the Joint Action Committee on proposed amendments,” said Aurangzeb during a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting chaired by Senator Faisal Javed Khan.
The minister said that during the previous government’s tenure, the payment of journalists’ salaries were not linked with the issuance of advertisements to media houses. Furthermore, even the payment of dues in that regard to those media outlets, which created a delay in payment of salaries to their staff, were not stopped.
She assured that now a law was being enacted that would ensure timely payment of workers’ salaries and contracts. Furthermore, she said that previous Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had changed category of channels during his tenure as minister.
Marriyum Aurangzeb added that TV channels were rated after the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2019, but prior to this classification, the Press Information Department had a transparent system for advertisements , under which channels were rated according to their programmes and time and given advertisements under categories of A, B, and C.
Marriyum said transparency in advertisements’ distribution had been ensured by the present regime and no discrimination was being done against any channel.
Moreover, she said the government fully believed in the freedom of the media and it was taking steps to safeguard it. “In the past, journalists were abducted and tortured but no such incident has taken place in our tenure.” said Aurangzeb.
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