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Russian government govt rejects bill on RF Public TV Council

May 06, 2013, 12:46 UTC+3

“The RF government believes that the bill needs additional justification,” says the Cabinet’s official opinion

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MOSCOW, May 6 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian government has considered unjustified, including from the financial point of view, the draft law on the establishment of the RF Public TV Council that was submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament by A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov.

“The RF government believes that the bill needs additional justification,” says the Cabinet’s official opinion posted on the website on Monday.

According to the document, the Public TV Council will carry out “public expert examination of the activities of nationwide, regional and local TV channels, television broadcasting organisations, as well as broadcast television programs in order to take into account the interests of the population in implementing the cultural and educational functions of television.”

“The bill does not define the legal status of the Council that is being formed. It is unclear in what forms it will support the nationwide, regional and local television and radio broadcasting organisations,” the review of government experts emphasises.

In addition, the draft law proposes to include in the list of the goals and objectives of the Council interaction with the bodies of state authority on the issues of ensuring guarantees of mass media freedom on television, respect for the freedom of speech in the work of television broadcasting organisations, to expose facts of abuse of the freedom of mass media on television. Meanwhile, according to the Russian Ministry of Justice, “the above issues are regulated by the RF Law “On the Media.” “The state control and supervision over the observance of the law norms is exercised by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, it also issues warnings on the facts of their violation.”

“In addition, the goals and objectives of the Council provided for by the bill, as well as certain provisions relating to its activities duplicate the functions of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation,” it is said in the opinion.

“According to the financial feasibility study, the project will require additional expenditures from the 2013 federal budget in the amount of no more than 119 million roubles. However, the bill does not contain provisions that determine the sources of funding and the order of execution of expenditure commitments for the project implementation, which does not comply with the requirements of Article 83 of the Budget Code of the Russian Federation,” the RF Cabinet says.

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