Published on: February 13, 2024

The Electronic Media Broadcasting Authority Act is expected to be passed in the near future – State Minister for Mass Media Shantha Bandara

State Minister for Mass Media Shanta Bandara, has announced that the Electronic Media Broadcasting Authority Act is anticipated to be introduced to Parliament and enacted soon.

Additionally, he noted that a national media policy has been drafted and is currently under consideration by the Cabinet for approval. State Minister Shanta Bandara made these remarks during his participation in a news conference at the Presidential Media Centre today (13), under the theme ‘Collective way to a stable country’.

State Minister, also remarked:

‘In tackling today’s prominent challenge of financial management, we directed our attention towards addressing revenue and expenditure issues. Specifically, we concentrated on the 16 institutions falling under the Ministry, a significant portion of which relied on Treasury allocations. As a result, initiatives were undertaken to enhance the self-sufficiency of these entities, enabling them to operate independently.

Particularly, in our efforts to enhance Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, we engaged in discussions with their management, leading to crucial decisions that have garnered positive responses.

Furthermore, Independent Television Network and the Associated Newspapers Ceylon Limited (Lakehouse) have undergone significant transformations. We anticipate turning these institutions into profitable entities by next year.

Moreover, the Postal Department’s revenue projection saw a notable increase from Rs. 9,268 million in 2022 to Rs. 13,616 million in 2023. Through improved services and enhanced management practices without imposing additional burdens on the public, we managed to reduce the department’s losses from Rs. 7,173 million in 2021 to Rs. 6,832 million in 2022, and further down to Rs. 3,222 million in 2023. We are confident that by December 31, 2024, the Postal Department will operate as a self-sustaining, profit-making institution independent of treasury funds.

Additionally, the Cabinet has approved a special project program worth Rs. 10 billion, establishing a joint venture between the private and public sectors. This initiative aims to expedite international goods exchange processes. Furthermore, plans are underway to launch a courier service for goods exchange in the Western Province this year, utilizing 200 three-wheelers and 50 motorcycles.

Additionally, plans are underway to expand the scope of services provided by Bank of Ceylon branches to cover 100 post offices.

Moreover, significant amendments have been made to the Electronic Media Broadcasting Authority Act following majority agreement. The finalized bill has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Department and is anticipated to be presented to Parliament for adoption in the near future.

Preparations for the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Journalists have been completed, with initial work forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department. This institute aims to offer internationally recognized certification to journalists who undergo proper training.

Furthermore, a National Media Policy is set to be presented, currently awaiting approval from the Cabinet. It’s worth noting that there will be no hindrances for the media in this regard’.

Mission

The Presidential Media Division is fully responsible for socializing the views, actions, decisions and statements of His Excellency the President through the media. Electronic, print and new media will contribute to this through a credible and engaging approach.

The media department works as a source of information on the subject of the President’s vision and mission by maintaining good coordination with public and private media organizations and journalists.

National policies, plans and measures are explained to the people through the use of high quality media. Identify the fallacies and reveal the truth.