Parliament passes Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023

New Delhi: Parliament on Thursday passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 with the Lok Sabha approving it by a voice vote.
After passing the bill, the house was adjourned sine die a day before the schedule.
The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill in August this year.
The Bill seeks to simplify the online process of title verification and registration of periodicals by the Press Registrar General of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) and it has provisions related to the circulation and verification of newspapers.
It also has a provision for prior approval of the Central Government for the publication of facsimile editions of foreign periodicals in India.
Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said it is aimed at providing ease of doing business, ease of living, and promoting Digital India.
The bill is simple and it has only 22 clauses instead of 57 clauses in the bill brought by the previous Congress government.
The Minister said the media has an important role in a democracy and it should not be suppressed.
He alleged that it was the Congress party under which rule the press was muzzled. The Minister highlighted several provisions of the Bill saying this bill covers only periodicals and newspapers, not books.
According to the Bill, a publisher of a periodical may make an application to the Press Registrar General for revision of particulars of the certificate of registration, or for revision of the title.

The Bill has a provision for the Appellate Board to be called the Press and Registration Appellate Board consisting of the Chairperson, Press Council of India and two members to be nominated by the Press Council of India, from among its members.

The proposed legislation is based on the spirit of upholding media freedom and ease of doing business by making the entire process of allotment of titles and registration of periodicals simple and simultaneous, through an online system without the requirement of any physical interface.
Importantly, the publishers would no longer be required to file a declaration with the District Magistrate, or the local authorities, or get such declaration authenticated by such authorities.
Furthermore, printing presses would also not be required to furnish any such declaration, instead, an intimation by the printer would be sufficient.
In his valedictory address, Speaker Om Birla said that the House has conducted 14 sittings and passed 18 important bills. He informed that the House registered 74 percent productivity.

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