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Pakistani government withdraws Pemra amendment bill after fierce opposition

12:02 AM | 8 Aug, 2023
Pakistani government withdraws Pemra amendment bill after fierce opposition
Source: File photo

After objections by stakeholders, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday announced withdrawal of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Aimed at streamlining the procedures to register and monitor ratings of TV channels as well as elaborating the definitions of disinformation and misinformation, the bill was passed by the the National Assembly on August 3.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and journalists’ bodies had expressed concerns that the law could be misused and “may allow powerful groups or individuals to stonewall journalists seeking both sides of a story”.

Broadcasters also expressed concern at the government move and said that the powers to monitor the rating agencies should be given to advertisers.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday, the information minister said the legislation had been prepared after careful consideration, emphasising that the government respects the concerns of certain groups about some sections of the proposed legislation.

“We have never compromised on constitutional and democratic principles, nor can we ever do so,” the minister told the Senate Committee.

She said the government would never compromise on the constitutional right to freedom of media, expression and civil liberties. “We will always strive together with the media against coercion, authority and tyranny.”

Aurangzeb stated that government’s intention was to repeal the previous “black Pemra law,” and in pursuit of this goal, it engaged in consultations with media stakeholders to draft the new legislation.

Right from the outset, the government was determined to ensure that the bill would be passed only through the consensus of all parties involved, she told the committee.

The minister shared that she was at the forefront of those opposing the establishment of the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) and recalled how she had been vocal in criticising the then government’s move to introduce it.

Highlighting her dedication to journalists’ well-being, she mentioned the initiation of health insurance for journalists, acknowledging the challenges they faced due to unpaid wages and salary delays.

She further stated her efforts to ensure the devolution of powers from the chairman of Pemra to relevant authorities.

In response to concerns about incorporating all opinions into the legislation, she acknowledged the constraints of time and expressed that the legislative process had only two days left before a new parliament with a fresh mandate would take over.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 14 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 14, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 14 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 299.95 302.9
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45
 
76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86
 
1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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