Information minister Hasan Mahmud.

Information minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said that the government was going to enforce the existing laws in the country so that foreign channels could not show any advertisement without permission of the government from October next.

Hasan said that they were also trying to ensure discipline in the case of IP TV as its registration process would start very soon.

He said that journalist leaders have no reason to be worried about their bank account details sought by Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of Dhaka Union of Journalists, the minister also said that the government was trying to bring discipline in the mass media by removing various problems.

Hasan said that he tried to look into the matter after seeing a report in the newspaper on seeking bank account details of 11 journalist leaders by the BFIU.

‘The government can of course seek bank account details of anybody for any reason. But I don’t think there’s any reason to be worried about it. I know those whose bank account details have been sought. I also know the financial condition of many of them,’ he said.

The DUJ’s AGM was held at the National Press Club with its president Quddus Afrad in the chair.

The BFIU of the Bangladesh Bank issued letters to the commercial banks asking for details of bank accounts of 11 journalist leaders last week.

The ministers said that journalists themselves demanded removing chaos in the mass media and he was trying to do it in consultation with media persons.  ‘This process is going on, and discipline has already been restored in many cases,’ he said.

About journalists’ concern about the Digital Security Act, he said that this law was enacted to ensure digital security to all people of the country. ‘There’re such laws all over the world, including in our neighbouring countries. Even, there’re tougher laws there,’ he said.

The minister said that journalists or anyone else could get redress under this law if they were subjected to character assassination digitally. ‘So, the Digital Security Act is needed. At the same time, it should be ensured that this law does not hinder the professional duty of journalists,’ he added.

Speaking at the programme, state minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that those who engaged in the great profession of journalism have a deep responsibility and duty towards the country and the nation.

He called upon the journalists to brighten the country’s image in the international arena through depicting the real scenario of the country through objective journalism.

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