August 07, 2023
ISLAMABAD—In a notable development, the departing PDM government announced on Monday its decision to retract the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The National Assembly passed the bill on August 3, setting forth provisions related to registering and monitoring TV channel ratings and defining the parameters of disinformation and misinformation. The bill's withdrawal came after encountering objections from certain stakeholders who raised concerns about specific provisions within the proposed legislation, as reported by Dawn.
Opposition to the bill was firm among journalists, their associations, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. These groups feared the bill could favor presenting a single perspective on matters. Additionally, broadcasters raised questions regarding the government's role in overseeing ratings.
Prominent journalist Hamid Mir voiced his opinion on Twitter, stating that no journalist could support a bill granting the government sole authority to appoint the head of PEMRA while allowing media owners to delay salary payments from one month to two.
This reversal marks a significant turn of events as the PDM government heeds the concerns of stakeholders, ultimately leading to the withdrawal of the proposed amendments to the PEMRA ordinance.
The News, January 11, 2019
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