Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said the government is committed to promoting press freedom and civil rights.

At a programme organised by Federation of Nepali Journalists here yesterday, Finance Minister Sharma said, "The government stands firm for press freedom."

He also vowed that financial problems faced by media sector in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic would be addressed soon.

According to him, relief could be managed in a way to help small and mid-scale media. "Working journalists are facing severe problem at present. They have lost their jobs. So, solution could be found after holding extensive discussion," he added. He, however, pointed out the need of reform in the media law and acts along with institutional structure and capacity building.

On the occasion, Acting Chair of FNJ Ramesh Bista reminded Minister Sharma that many journalists were fired from their jobs and deprived of remuneration in the name of COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has been an excuse, he said, adding that the laws on media should be in favour of mediapersons.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 4 2021, of The Himalayan Times.