Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said journalist leaders have no reason to be worried about their bank account details sought by Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU).
Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), the minister also said the government is trying to bring discipline in the mass media by removing various problems.
Dr Hasan said 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 Jatiya 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 journalists themselves demanded removing chaos in the mass media and he is 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 the government is going to enforce the existing laws in the country so that foreign channels cannot show any advertisement without permission from October next.
Dr Hasan said they are also trying to ensure discipline in the case of IP TV as its registration process will start very soon.
About journalists’ concern about the Digital Security Act, he said this law has been 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.”
The minister said journalists or anyone else can get redress under this law if they are 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.”
Speaking at the programme, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said 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.