Broadcasters contest govt’s ‘anti-press’ royalty notice
KATHMANDU, JUL 07 -
A notification issued by the government to electronic media outlets asking the latter to renew their broadcasting licences and pay royalties has met with a strong backlash.
The notification issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications in a state-owned daily newspaper on Friday was jointly opposed by the Television Broadcasters’ Nepal, Broadcasting Association of Nepal, Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Kathmandu Valley FM Broadcasters’ Forum and the Federation of Nepal Cable Television.
At a time when electronic media organisations are demanding scrapping of the policy to charge broadcasting royalty, the ministry has called on the broadcasters to pay either two percent of their income or 10 percent of their net profit for the running fiscal year.
The notification said the government will not renew licences of the media organisations who fail to pay up.
In a statement, the broadcasters have taken strong exception to the decision and termed it “a strategic ploy of the incumbent government to control free press and terminate the electronic media organisations championing people’s right to information and expression.”
The media organisations condemned the government for “keeping unconstitutional prejudice towards the electronic media organisations” and demanded that the move be withdrawn at the earliest.
They also urged the government to uphold press freedom and the people’s right to information and expression and become media-friendly. They threatened to launch a strong protest against the “ anti-press freedom activities” of the government in case their demands are not met.
Posted on: 2012-07-07 08:14