Address concerns of industry on Press Act: INS

New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) Maintaining that no "proper"consultations were held with stakeholders before finalisingthe Press and Registration of Books and Publication Act, theIndian Newspaper Society today said concerns of the industryshould be addressed before the Bill is tabled in Parliament.

Clarifying its position, INS President Kundan R Vyassaid that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting startedworking on effecting certain changes in the PRB Act in 2005and subsequently followed it up in early 2010 and the purportof the amendments at that time was only to provide efficientand better service to the newspapers.

However, the newly named Act contain many provisionsand clauses which "are impediments to the smooth functioningof the fourth estate of our democracy.

"The draft of the new Act was sent for comments to thePress Council of India at a time when members of the councilwere preparing to hold their last meeting during their term inoffice," he said in a statement here.

The members, therefore, could not devote time todiscuss the issue and they clearly indicated to the Ministryof Information and Broadcasting that the new council whenconstituted some time in February 2011, will take up thisissue for discussion and send their detailed comments andsuggestions, he added.

Vyas said that the INS after studying the new Act nowcleared by the Union Cabinet, will shortly send itssuggestions and comments to the Ministry of Information andBroadcasting. He urged the Minister to await INS response andaddress concerns of the industry before placing the Bill inthe Parliament.

The I and B Ministry had yesterday said it hasconsulted all stakeholders, including Indian Newspaper Society(INS), and incorporated their suggestions before the UnionCabinet cleared a bill on registration of books andpublications.

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