Online media policy draft gets cabinet nod

Dhaka,  Thu,  24 August 2017
Published : 19 Jun 2017, 18:11:18 | Updated : 19 Jun 2017, 18:13:57

Online media policy draft gets cabinet nod

Online media policy draft gets cabinet nod
The Cabinet approved the draft of "The National Online Mass Media Policy, 2017" on Tuesday.

As per draft, National Broadcast Commission (NBC) will be constituted to facilitate operations of online mass media in an organised manner.

The approval was given at the Cabinet’s weekly meeting at the parliament with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, according to BSS, UNB.

The draft also suggested a policy containing a detailed guideline for operating online versions of mainstream media including radio, TV and newspaper.

Briefing reporters after the meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the draft policy has been formulated so that online mass media could work in a well-organised manner upholding the national history and the Liberation War spirit.

For this purpose detailed guidelines have been given in the new draft policy for smooth running of online mass media, including those being operated by radio, TV, newspapers and so on, said he.

Alam said, according to the draft policy every single mass media outlet of the country will have to be registered with the NBC.

He, however, said the online media already registered under the Press and Publications Act, 1973 do not require re-registration with the NBC but need to inform the commission about their registration.

Shafiul Alam said the government, in consultation with the Commission, will formulate rules of procedures for smooth application of the Act, while the Commission will be empowered to frame a guideline for giving licenses to the broadcasters.

Besides, NBC will make recommendations to the government for giving licences to television, radio, internet TV or other digital broadcast stations and it will issue licences upon the government's approval.

Alam said the Commission could issue show cause notice, initiate investigation, recommend to the government for further proceedings against online media outlets if they broadcast something in violation of the National Broadcast Policy-2014.

On its own, the Commission will be able to take action against online media outlets if it believes that they have violated the code of conduct and breached discipline, he said.

The Commission will also be given the authority to take measures against a online media outlet if any content poses a threat to security, territorial integrity, peace, public order and unity of the country or if it is vulgar, false and malicious or if the content is against the spirit of the War of Liberation and distorts national history and heritage.

The Cabinet meeting also approved a proposal for amendment to the Nationalised Private Primary Schools (Fixation of Conditions for Services) Policy 2013.

As per amendment, the teachers of the private primary schools, which were recently nationalised, will be absorbed in the revenue sector provided they have teaching experience of 21 years or more along with Certificate-in-Education course certificate.

The Cabinet meeting also approved in principle the draft of the 'Bangladesh Sugar (Road Development Cess) Bill, 2017.

Moreover, the Cabinet gave final nod to 'The Groundwater Management in Agricultural Activities Bill, 2017'.

In addition, the Cabinet also approved a proposal for ratifying the 'Agreement between Bangladesh and Kingdom of Bahrain for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income', 'Agreement between State of Kuwait and Bangladesh for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income' and proposal for ratifying the statute of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) 

The Cabinet adopted a condolence motion at the deaths of some 160 people and injuring of many others during the recent landslides in Chittagong, Khagrachhari, Rangamati, Cox's Bazar and Moulvibazar districts and at the recent fire incident at a tower in London killing and injuring many people.

Ministers, state ministers and secretaries concerned were also present at the meeting.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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