Pokhara: Journalists have protested against the mass media bill, which is being discussed in the Legislative Committee after being submitted to the Gandaki Provincial Assembly.
Various media organizations have issued a statement on Thursday demanding immediate withdrawal of the bill as it is an act to control and curb journalists and the media.
The Gandaki Province Committee of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Communications demanding immediate withdrawal of the Mass Media Bill.
Gandaki chapter of FNJ, has stated that it will not accept the mass media bill under any circumstances. Article 19, Clause 2 of the Constitution states that the media shall not be closed, confiscated or deregistered for publishing and broadcasting news, articles, but the Bill has trampled on this provision.
After receiving the memorandum of, Minister for Law, Communication and State Assembly Affairs Bindukumar Thapa said that the bill will be amended as not all issues are bad.
General Secretary-Roshan Puri, Press Chautari Nepal Kaski President-Arjun Giri, Nepal Press Union Kaski President-Navin Sigdel and Secretary-Pradip Poudel, Nepal Sports Journalists Forum Gandaki President-Ekraj Giri and Online Journalist Association Gandaki President-Kamal Subedi protested by issuing notes.
Article 47, sub-sections 1 and 3 of of the Mass Media Bill states that the Secretary of the ministry has the right to initiate and settle the case. It is mentioned that if the program is produced, distributed and downlinked without a license, such person will be fined the same amount as the license fee. Sub-section 3 has made provision for a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 for non-compliance with the rules made under the Act.