The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Broadcast Ministry on Monday got another 90 days to examine Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2022.
This is for the fourth time that the chairman of the parliamentary watchdog Hasanul Huq Inu sought the time in Parliament as the committee couldn’t scrutinize the Bill for placing it before the House within the stipulated time.
The House unanimously approved the committee chief’s proposal for extension of the time.
On March 28 last year, Information and Broadcast Minister Hasan Mahmud placed the Bill and it was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the respective ministry for scrutiny of the proposed law.
The committee earlier in June and August last year sought 60 days and again in January 90 days for scrutiny of the Bill.
According to the source, the Jatiya Sangsad committee did not sit for a single meeting till now.
Various journalists’ organizations and owners’ association, Transparency International Bangladesh have seriously opposed various sections of the proposed law.
The Editors’ Council (Sampadak Parishad) has said the space for independent media will shrink further if the proposed Bill is passed in Parliament.
Upon analysis of the proposed law, the Editors’ Council observed that 37 out of its 54 provisions are not journalist friendly.
The wages and benefits of journalists, employees and press workers, artistes of broadcast, online, and print media outlets would be fixed under the proposed law.
As per the Bill, journalists will be regarded as media professionals, not as workers.
The wage board will be applicable for journalists and employees of all the media outlets, including print and electronic, as per the Bill.