Kathmandu, February 3

A Cabinet meeting in Singha Durbar formed a committee headed by media law expert Kanshi Raj Dahal mandating it to draft a new media policy by reviewing past ones and to recommend amendments to the existing media laws or to bring new ones.

A three-month deadline was given to the committee, said Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai after the meeting. The cabinet named only two persons Chairman of Press Council Nepal Borna Bahadur Karki and Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalist Mahendra Bista as members of the panel. Other members of the panel will be picked from the Ministry of Information and Communications-level by incorporating representatives of press related federations, unions and other concerned groups, according to him.

“The committee has been mandated to recommend to the government necessary media related policies and legal provisions in the new federal set up of the country with specific provisions of media for federation, province and local levels. It will also suggest on media related regulating bodies at all three levels,” Rai said. The committee was formed to adjust media policies and laws to the spirit of the new constitution and to suggest on journalists’ code of ethics, according to him.

Although the government issued two media policies in 1992 and 2002 and received a report of the High Level Media Recommendation Commission 2006 headed by Radheshyam Adhikary, many provisions of the policies and the report were not implemented. It again drafted another media policy in 2013, but it was not issued formally due to disputes among media related groups on some of its provisions.

The cabinet meeting also promoted 22 under-secretaries to joint secretary. They include Ravishankar Sainju, Dandhowaj Basnet, Gyanendra Paudel, Sanjaya Kumar Khanal, Keshav Prasad Acharya, Purushottam Nepal, Janakiballhav Adhikari, Janakraj Dahal, Pradip Kumar Koirala, Shiva Prasad Adhikari, Sher Bahadur Dhungana, Bhagirath Pande, Ram Bahadur Ghimire, Uttam Prasad Dhital, Uttam Prasad Nagila, Dilip Kumar Chapagain, Narahari Baral, Tara Bahadur Karki, Bishnu Prasad Pokharel, Prem Prakash Upreti, Krishna Bahadur Thapa and Purushottam Acharya.