Media Council bill presented in National Assembly

Kathmandu, Aug 29: The 'Nepal Media Council Bill, 2075' has been presented in the National Assembly today.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Banskota, tabling the bill in the Upper House, said the government would accept the positive feedback and suggestions on the bill to be presented by the bodies concerned for further enriching it.

"Talks have been held with the party and bodies concerned including the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, the Federation of Nepali Journalists and others to further improve the bill. Talks would be held further in this regard," he said.

The Communications and Information Technology Minister made it clear that the bill has been brought by internalozing the fact that the Fourth organ of the State should be responsible and accountable to the country, people and the constitution.

"The challenge to press freedom is due to internal and external factors. The government and the constitution face the external challenges. But the press freedom also faces challenge sue to one's internal reason as well. What is true and what is false. Doesn't the Press has a responsibility towards society," he said.

Stating that the bill contained issues of self-censorship as well, he said the challenge still remained regarding the viewpoint towards television, radio, online, newspapers and Youtube.

Nepali Congress lawmakers including Radheshyam Adhikari, Sarita Prasain, Anita Devkota and Prakash Pantha withdrew their 'protest note' against the bill after Minister Banskota explained that the bill would be forwarded after holding consultations with all sides concerned.

Before this, lawmaker Adhikari had objected to the bill's introduction in the House, saying it was brought without holding discussions with the stakeholders concerned including the FNJ. He demanded correcting the provision in the bill related to the process of formation of the proposed media council. He suggested giving the responsibility for constituting the council to the parliamentary committee.

A meeting of the National Assembly held on Aug 29, 2019.

Meanwhile, today's meeting of the National Assembly unanimously approved the proposal seeking to send the 'Land-Related Bill (Eighth Amendment), 2075' to the Legislation Management Committee for the clause-wise discussions.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanubhakta Dhakal presented the proposal in the House on behalf the Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Padma Aryal.

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