Nepal | January 16, 2021

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:

First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition makes successful attempt on Thursday

KATHMANDU: A team from Seven Summit Treks ‘First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition’ comprising Qatari climber Fahad Badar, Sherief Elabd from Eygpt and Nadhira Al Harthy from Oman have attempted Mt Ama Dablam (6812 m) on January 14. The winter ascent to Ama dablam consisted of at least 14 climbers w Read More...

Rival NCP factions hold standing committee meetings

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal held its Standing Committee meeting and discussed ways to effectively carry out its protest programme against dissolution of the House of Representatives. NCP (Dahal-Nepal) Spokesperson Naryan Ka Read More...

Security personnel of Khotang District Police Office destroy cannabis planted illegally by the locals in Durchim VDC of Khotang district on Monday, December 21, 2015. Photo: RSS

Cops intensify drive to destroy cannabis, opium plants

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Nepal Police destroyed cannabis and opium plants cultivated in a large swathe of land across the country in the fiscal year 2019-20, according to an annual report recently released by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to the report, cannabis plants being cultivated Read More...

WHO supports member countries to end COVID-19 pandemic

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 14 Member countries in the World Health Organisation South-East Asia Region are gearing up for massive vaccination campaigns in a bid to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO South-East Asia Region has 11 member countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic o Read More...

Bhattarai calls for decisive agitation

DAMAULI, JANUARY 14 Janata Samaj Party-Nepal Federal Council Chairperson Baburam Bhattarai has stressed the need of a decisive struggle to protect democracy and the constitution. Accusing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of putting the constitution and democracy at risk by dissolving the Parliamen Read More...

Locals protest East-West Railway survey

BARA, JANUARY 14 The locals have protested a survey of the East-West Railway in Bara. The locals were up in arms after a survey was done affecting the main settlement in the bazaar area of Nijgadh Municipality. According to the survey team Incharge Suraj Poudel, the locals impeded the d Read More...

‘Tharu community in peril due to dowry’

BARA, JANUARY 14 Cultural bad practice in society has become a headache in Bara. Deputy Mayor Sunaina Devi Tharuni of Kolhabi Municipality in Bara said the Tharu community had been backward due to their luxurious lifestyle and dowry system. Tharuni addressed a programme organised by Tharu J Read More...

Cold increasing woes of poor people

RAJBIRAJ, JANUARY 14 Life in Saptari has been adversely affected due to inclement weather for the past three days. The cold breeze that blows from early morning and the thick fog have made things worse. According to locals, they have hardly seen any sunshine for the past few days and the exces Read More...