I&B ministry for changes in PRB Act

Greater Kashmir

New Delhi, Oct 1: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sent a note for consideration by the Cabinet seeking amendments in the age-old law relating to print media after some newspapers strongly opposed recent changes in it saying registered publications will have to submit a huge volume of information.
 A note for amending section 31(a) of the 140-year-old Press and Registration of Books Act has been sent to the Cabinet, a senior official told PTI.
 Once the amendment is carried out, it will not be necessary for newspapers and publications to submit to the Press Registrar General the bulky details of income from advertisements every year, he said.
 The Act was amended in February making it mandatory for newspapers to give annually the complete particulars relating to advertisement, the money received and also the person who had paid for the advertisement.
 Following the amendment, a meeting was held in March between representatives of the Indian Newspaper Society and the government.
 The newspapers contended that the new rule would “entail the submission of a huge volume of information by registered publications,” the official said.
 “While the newspapers would have to provide voluminous documentation, the ministry would also have to find space to store all this information,” he said.
 “Some stakeholders had also stated practical difficulties so we have not made annual handing over of all these details mandatory. But the details will have to be maintained and should be made available on call,” he added.