NA committee proposes more power for PEMRA
ISLAMABAD, April 21,2005: Proposing more amendments to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Bill, the National Assembly’s standing committee oil information and broadcasting favoured more power to the authority for checking objectionable programmes and advertisements.
Through proposed amendments, the committee asked PEMRA to ensure that all programmes and advertisements broadcasted by cable network operators did not contain or encourage vulgarity, violence, terrorism, racial and ethnic or religious terrorism. The committee-amended bill was likely to be presented before the NA on April 21.
The proposed amendments said the authority or its chairman may seize any broadcast or distribution service equipment and seal the premises of cable operators breaching the PEMRA rules.
Originally, the bill was introduced to strengthen the enforcement mechanism by conferring additional powers to PEMRA for imposition and recovery of fines, acquiring search warrants and seizure of equipment used for illegal operation.
The government said the amendments would empower the as powers to issue determinations and regulations. They would strengthen the role of council of complaints as a mediator between the authority and the general public.
PEMRA was given the authority to prescribe standards and measures for the establishment of broadcast media stations, installations of broadcasting, distribution
service or teleporting equipment. Under the amendments, the authority would prescribe terms and conditions for the
broadcast media or distribution service operators who own, control or operate more than one media enterprise.
It would also define the circumstances constituting undue concentration or media ownership and abuse of powers and anti-competitive practices by media companies,
The officers of the federal, provincial and local governments, including the capital and provincial police, would assist PEMRA officials in the discharge of their functions.
Source: Daily Times