Sindh likely to form PEMRA-like body to regulate media | Pakistan Today

Sindh likely to form PEMRA-like body to regulate media

KARACHI: With the successful establishment of Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), Sindh Employees Old-Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) and etc, the Sindh government is now going to have its own Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)-like institution to regulate the provincial media industry, Pakistan Today learnt Monday.

Soon after Barrister Murtaza Wahab took over as Advisor to Chief Minister on Information and Archives and a senior bureaucrat, Abdul Rasheed Solangi, who is famous for his expertise on 18th amendment, as Information and Archives Department secretary, the proposal was worked out that the province should have a separate PEMRA-like institution called Sindh Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (SEMRA) at the provincial level to regulate and facilitate the media industry in the province, sources added.

According to sources, the higher authorities, in this regard, would soon contact the federal authorities for the devolution of PEMRA to the province so that the province could perform well while regulating and facilitating the media industry.

The PEMRA was promoted by the government as an open media policy reform and was fortified with strong regulatory teeth.

The establishment of PEMRA was initiated in 2000, during former president Pervez Musharraf’s rule. It succeeded that the Regulatory Authority for Media Broadcast Organisations (RAMBO) which was mandated to improve standards of information, education and entertainment, expand the choice available to the people of Pakistan in the media for news, current affairs, religious knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, social sector concerns, music, sport, drama and other subjects of public and national interest; facilitate the devolution of responsibility and power to grassroots by improving the access to mass media at the local and community level, and lastly, to ensure accountability, transparency and good governance by optimising the free flow of information.

According to the sources, with the passage of 18th amendment, Sindh is the only province that had established a revenue collecting body – Sindh Revenue Board – and many others institutions which have achieved remarkable progress.

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.

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