Electronic media regulatory body soon, says official -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Electronic media regulatory body soon, says official

ISLAMABAD- Federal Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mehmood said that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) would come into existence in a couple of days.

After approval by the federal cabinet, the bill was lying with President Pervez Musharraf for final touches, he said.

The authority will function independently and will be fully empowered to take decisions and develop its criteria.

The PEMRA will have nine members – three government officials and six from the private sector. The chairman and a technical member will be appointed on full-time basis, while seven others will be included in the authority in ordinary capacity.

The office of the chairman will have a specific tenure to ensure stability and security of the authority so that it could perform its duty in a healthy atmosphere.

Mr Mehmood hoped that the chairman would be appointed during the current month and the authority would begin functioning soon.

Replying to a question, he said it was not necessary that the chairman be a government servant. He added that the PEMRA chief would rather be a capable person, who could be inducted from either side. He said although the information ministry would have no significant role to play in the authority, the information secretary would be included in it as an ordinary member.

There would be no government influence on the functioning of the authority, he said, adding that PEMRA would rather play the role of a facilitator.

Mr Mehmood said that while approving the law for the establishment of the authority, the federal cabinet had decided that the authority would make its rules independently in order to avoid any hurdles in its functioning. Had the rules been formulated and approved by the federal cabinet, it would have been very difficult for the authority to make any amendment to those rules, if so required, he added.

Replying to a question, he said although the government had given guidelines in the law, the authority would be fully independent in issuing licences.

The information secretary said that for the first time in the history of the country, the private sector had been given a chance to play its role. He hoped that the practice would yield better results. “The establishment of the authority is an implementation of what (the) president has said in his address.”
Source: Dawn
Date:2/3/2002