ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and Heritage on Monday finalised members’ names and terms of reference (ToRs) for Media Laws Review Task Force which would comprehensively review all existing laws, rules and regulations related to media at the federal, provincial and local levels.
It was decided during the 9th meeting of the committee, which was held in the Parliament House under the chair of committee Chairperson MNA Marvi Memon.
Under the ToRs, the task force would identify the needs, if any, for amendments, changes, etc in sections of media laws, rules, regulations including “definitions” and substantive provisions so as to accurately reflect contemporary realities and factors such as new technologies, and to propose specific amendments to existing laws, rules and regulations for consideration by the respective legislatures.
The task force would also draft the texts for new laws, rules and regulations in the light of contemporary conditions and emerging trends, and with reference to the recommendations of the media commission as unanimously endorsed by the national assembly standing committee on information, broadcasting and national heritage in its meeting on 16th April 2014.
The task force would also develop a monitoring framework for committee reference to have an oversight on the implementation of the existing and the amended laws rules regulations. The committee also empowered task force to add any other TORs after deliberations of the members of the task force with the approval of the committee.
The members of task force included leading lawyer of the country Babar Sattar, Barrister Salman Afridi, Rizwan Ejaz, Nawazish Peerzada, Faisal Siddiqi, Ayub Baloch, Yasmeen Aftab Ali and Aafia Salam. One member would be included later.
The committee also discussed recommendations on code of conduct of Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA). The acting director general of Pakistan National Council of Arts also gave a presentation on Pakistan Culture and Arts Foundation Relief Fund to the members of committee. The committee was satisfied with the presentation and briefing of the acting DG and directed secretary information to appoint a permanent DG of the council. The secretary assured the committee to appoint a permanent DG by the first of July.
The standing committee on information, broadcasting and heritage also reviewed the subcommittee on right to information’s recommendations on right to information bill. The members appreciated the work done by subcommittee and decided that its notes would be included in final report. The committee also proposed 14 amendments/recommendation to be included in government bill to make it a better law.
The committee decided to review the report of subcommittee headed by MNA Arifa Khalid Pervaiz regarding recommendations on code of conduct of PEMRA and further information on the authority in the next committee meeting.