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Call for separate law for Nepal’s community radio stations

(Photo: ACORAB)

Nepal’s Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) has asked the government to introduce a separate law overseeing community radio stations in the country.

The association made the call at its two-day national conference in Nepalgunj, in the west of the country.

It said a separate act of parliament would be in line with the provisions of Nepal’s Mass Communications Policy approved by the government in 2016.

ACORAB said new policies were needed for the capacity building of community radio stations and journalists working there as well as for the sustainability of community radio.

The Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dilendra Prasad Badu, opened the conference. He said the role of community radio was important in times of crisis and the government was committed to protecting it.

It was providing assistance to commercial radio stations by giving discounts on renewal fees, royalties and electricity tariffs, he said.

Mr Badu welcomed the involvement of more than 300 community radio stations across the country in a freedom of speech campaign.

“Community radio is not just a radio but a campaign. After the establishment of democracy, this campaign has become stronger.”