Nepal | July 12, 2020

Government will not take back the MCB, says minister

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 23

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Baskota today said the government would not withdraw the Nepal Media Council Bill from the Parliament.

Baskota said at a weekly press conference today that the government would follow the parliamentary process to pass the bill.

Media sector, civil society, human rights institutions, international communities, opposition parties and even some leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have opposed the bill, saying it would curtail press freedom. Principal opposition party Nepali Congress has demanded the government withdraw the bill.

The bill, registered in the upper house of the Parliament on May 10, proposes to impose a heavy fine on erring journalists, editors and media ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 million.

Critics say the bill which proposes to replace existing Press Council with Media Council will relegate the regulatory body to a department of the government.

Press Association of Nepal, a sister wing of the ruling NCP, presented a memorandum to Baskota during the press briefing opposing the Media Council Bill’s contents. In its six-point demand, PAN stated that the bill’s provisions on penalty and fines should be removed. It also asked the government to remove the provisions of the bill that curtailed Media Council’s autonomy and independence.

Baskota said the government had taken PAN’s request positively. He, however, tried to justify the bill saying that penalty proposed in the bill was for those who violated rules and regulations. He said only those mediapersons who violated the code of conduct would be penalised.

He added that lawmakers elected by the citizens would not pass any laws against the constitution. He said media should also observe self-regulation by creating their own ombudsmen.

Baskota claimed that the government had no intention of controlling media or curtailing press freedom.


A version of this article appears in print on May 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

Putting the brakes on COVID-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls

KATHMANDU: The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 16,649 people and left 35 dead in Nepal as of July 10. But the full toll of this catastrophe has been incalculably greater. The health system has been overwhelmed and the economy has been greatly impacted. Women and girls have been disproportionately af Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...