ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage on Monday gave approval to the government bill “The Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017” referred to by the House to the Committee.

The Senate body met under the chair of Senator Kamil Ali Agha at the Parliament House and it appreciated the contribution of Senator Farhatullah Babar and the Sub-Committee led by him and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb in finalisation of the Bill.

Senator Farahatullah Babar told the Committee that the Bill prepared by the government was infact improved version of the Bill prepared by the Information Ministry Committee.

Appreciating Law Division for improving the language of the Bill, Agha said that the credit for its finalisation went to both the Committee and the government.

Discussing the Journalists Welfare and Protection Bill, the Committee asked the government to present its draft within 15 days, otherwise, the Committee itself would prepare its draft and for this purpose a Sub-Committee would be constituted.

Information Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera told the Committee that the government wanted early finalisation of the Bill and consultation with all the stakeholders was being done for this purpose.

The Committee expressed its concern over the violation of sanctity of Ramazan by a section of the electronic media.

Nehal Hashmi said that by watching such programmes, the new generation would think that Ramazan was “a festival only”.

Mushahidullah accused that some channels were working on the agenda to defame Islam.

Secretary Information Sukhera said the issue had been taken seriously and the Ministry, and the Pemra had prepared a guideline and three television channels had been issued show-cause notice at the night of first Ramazan for violation of this guideline.

The Committee was given presentation about the budgetary allocations for the current financial year for Information Ministry and the National History and Literacy Division.

The meeting was attended by Farhatullah Babar, Nehal Hashmi, Rubina Khalid, Khawaja Karim, Dr Ashok Kumar and Sassui Palejo.