ISLAMABAD – Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan has assured that PPP-led government is not taking any measure to impose any kind of restrictions on media, as it believes in freedom of expression.

“I strongly dispel the impression of imposing restrictions on media. PPP government believes in right of freedom and would not take any negative measures to curtail journalist community under certain boundaries,” said Minister for Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday, addressing a press conference at PID. She was flanked by PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has proposed different reforms but it is not necessary to develop consensus on each and every proposal, Minister maintained.

To a question about the slot of chairman Senate, the minister said that PPP along with coalition partners is in consultation process for the slot of chairman Senate. “Soon it would be announced,” she added.

When asked about imposition of radio tax, the minister said that it was prerogative of the Parliament to disown or own the proposal, as all the stakeholders would be taken on board. “It is not necessary to adopt every proposal, all the stakeholder will be taken on board,” she added, adding that this was discussed and recommended in the standing committee and all parties representation was also there.

To yet another about DTH policy, the minister said that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should start crackdown.

Talking about the Industrial Relations Bill 2012 unanimously passed in the Senate, Minister said that it was big achievement and would also be passed from National Assembly (NA). She said that protection of the rights of labourers was also in the manifesto of PPP and the legislation would support protecting rights of labour community.

“Our government had abolished the anti-labour IRO 2002 and introduced this new bill to protect the rights of labour,” she said adding that we would strongly support it.

To a question about ban on student unions, she spoke in the favor of restoration of student unions. She said provinces did not implement it but it could be further deliberated. “Student unions are actually nursery of political leaders,” she added. It is relevant to mention here that Senate unanimously passed the Industrial Relations Bill 2012, to ensure more rights to labourers.