ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting, National History & Literary Heritage has expressed serious concern on the telecast of baseless and misleading irresponsible reporting in the hourly news bulletin of a private TV channel regarding members of the NA. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of MNA Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla on Wednesday. The committee directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to assert its regulatory role in discouraging such irresponsible and baseless news reports which cause disrepute to the members of the NA. The committee stressed upon the media houses to check the veracity of the news before its telecast. The committee while discussing the issue of missing paintings of renowned painters from the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), directed the PNCA director general to devise a mechanism to avoid such instances in future. The committee was apprised that 104 paintings were reported missing in the year 2015. The committee unanimously decided not to recommend the PEMRA Bill, 2017 moved by MNA Dr Fouzia Hameed for its passage by the NA since the existing defamation law and PEMRA code of conduct were affectively catering the amendment proposed by the mover. While discussing the agreement of airtime of Shalimar Recording & Broadcasting Company (SRBC), the committee directed the ministry to ensure transparency while awarding the contract. The committee was apprised that the agreement with the company currently holding the airtime of SRBC was expiring in August, 2018 and the process for inviting bids for the new agreement would be initiated shortly and direction of the committee in that regard would be complied. The meeting was attended by MNAs Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Muhammad Khan Daha, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry, Zeb Jaffar, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail, Imran Zafar Leghari, Belum Hasnain, Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Naeema Kishwer Khan, the additional secretary of the Information & Broadcasting Division and heads of the concerned departments. Published in Daily Times, March 29th 2018.