Apr 24, 2014, 6:51 am (BST)
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Media enjoying maximum freedom: Azad
DHAKA, April 9 (BSS) - Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad today said both print and electronic media are enjoying maximum freedom due to the liberal media policy of the government.

"Bangladesh is one of the shining examples of free press in the South Asian region as both print and electronic media are enjoying mazimum freedom because of a favorable media policy of the government," said the minister when a group of foreign journalists called on him at his ministry office here.

The information minister said the government had enacted the
right to information act after coming to power in 2009. "The present government believes in press freedom and that's why it has already taken a lot of steps for free press," he said.

Due to favorable attitude towards the media, he said, the government has already formulated a 'welfare policy' for journalists and approved a welfare fund for the journalist community.

Besides, the government has given permission to 15 new private television channels, 7 private radio stations and 14 community radio centres in the rural areas.

The number of newspapers was only 199 in 1983 but now the country has a total of 457 newspapers, the minister told the foreign journalists.

While focusing on the major development activities of the present government, Abul Kalam Azad said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working relentlessly for the welfare of the people attaching top priority to ensuring food, electricity, health, and education.

Although the economic recession is now going on in the world, there is no food scarcity in the country, the minister said. About the education policy, the minister said that the government is working for bringing all the children to primary schools by 2014.

Seventeen foreign journalists from eight countries are now visiting Bangladesh. Of them, 14 attended the meeting with the
information minister.

They were Rainer Schubert, deputy editor of Business and Diplomacy Magazine of Germany, Kazuhiro Shimamura, senior economic editor of Kyodo News of Japan, Ms Aoki Sachiko, staff writer of International News Department of the Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan, Andrew Pau Gilligan from Daily Telegraph of London UK, John Vidal of environmental editorial team, The Guardian of UK, Ms Maria Alexaki, foreign news editor of Greek Broadcasting Corporation, Ms Jamila Mohamed of NTV Reporter and Anchor from Kenya, Bernard Mwinzi, editor of Daily Nation of Nairobi in Kenya, Guido Goris, editor of Moddial Nieuws Magazine from Belgium, Bektemir Prinapasov of National Information Agency from Uzbekistan and Bobur Sobirov, press official of Uzbekistan Embassy in New Delhi.

Information secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamun, joint secretary Abul Hossain and director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Syed Masud Mahmood Khundoker were also present on the occasion.
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