PPP/C MPs defend former gov’t’s broadcast licence awards

Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) parliamentarians on Saturday defended their former government’s controversial granting of broadcast licences, while accusing the current government of stretching the truth in levelling charges of nepotism.

At a press conference last Saturday, PPP/C member Anil Nandlall said that during the debate on the recently passed amendments to the broadcasting legislation, the government’s speakers downplayed the infringements on press freedom that were being introduced and instead tried to convey the impression that licences were solely granted to friends and cronies of the then PPP/C government.

He, however, reminded that during the debate on the bill he had urged that those who were granted but did not qualify for broadcast licences be pointed out. “The fact that someone may be close to a political party and benefits from a licence cannot be a ground to disqualify that person. The constitution guarantees to every one of you the right and the freedom to support the party of your choice and… not to be discriminated against if you choose to support a political party of your choice. So that is irrelevant to the granting of those licences,” he argued…..