Bill to amend press laws tabled in NA
ISLAMABAD – A bill to amend the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002, was presented in the National Assembly in Islamabad on October 18.
Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed introduced “The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Bill 2004” to the house. The speaker referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.
The following is the text of the amendment bill:
“WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002, (XCVIII of 2002), for the purpose hereinafter appearing;
It is hereby enacted as follows:
1. Short title and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Act, 2004.
(2) It shall come into force at once.
2. General amendment, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002.
In the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 (XCVIII of 2002), hereinafter referred to as the said Ordinance, after the words “District Coordination Officer”, wherever occurring, the words and commas “or, where the District Government has not come into being, the District Magistrate” shall be inserted.
3. Amendment of section 44, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002.
In the said Ordinance, in section 44, for the word “Government” the words “Federal Government in consultation with the Provincial Governments” shall be substituted.”
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS:
“The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2004, provides a legal framework for regulating matters pertaining to the press, newspapers, news agencies, books, printing presses etc. It also provides for the authentication of declarations of newspapers, their registration and other allied matters.
2. The law was prepared in consultation with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and has replaced the West Pakistan Press and Publications Ordinance, 1963, which was subsequently repealed by the promulgation of Registration of Printing Press and Publications Ordinance, 1988 (RPPPO), till it finally lapsed.
3. The proposed amendment aims at removing impediments by empowering District Magistrate (Islamabad) to authenticate the declaration and carry out the other ancillary job that now rests with the District Coordination Officers under the Ordinance.
4. The proposed amendment will also empower the Federal Government to make rules under section 44 that was inadvertently defined as Provincial Government in Section 2 (Part 1).”