The National Assembly passed two bills today. The Upper House of the Federal Parliament unanimously endorsed the 'Railway Bill, 2021' and the 'Accreditation Bill, 2021'.

On behalf of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki had presented the proposal seeking passage of the two bills.

Responding to lawmakers' queries in the course of the discussions, Minister Karki said the Railway Bill had been brought to make up for lack of related laws for operation of the railway service. He added that the bill would contribute for the expansion of railway service.

Also today, the National Assembly unanimously approved the proposal seeking consideration on the 'Public Service Broadcasting Bill, 2020'.

Replying to queries raised in the course of discussions, the Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs explained that the Public Service Broadcasting Bill bill had been brought in line with the democratic values and principles of independent journalism keeping in view the government's responsibility to the people.

Taking part in the discussions on the PSB bill, Khim Lal Devkota suggested that the bill should also include media operated by the provinces as well, apart from Radio Nepal and Nepal Television.

Prakash Pantha said that although it had been mentioned in the bill that Radio Nepal and Nepal Television would be converted into PSB, it contained clauses that allowed the government to give directives, which would be inimical to achieving the goal of independent journalism.

Radheshyam Adhikari opined that corporations where the government had dominance lacked administrative and financial autonomy.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 12 2021, of The Himalayan Times.