New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has agreed to meet a delegation of senior journalists to discuss the ministry’s restrictions on media, the Editors Guild of India said Tuesday.
Sitharaman had met a delegation from the guild on Sunday who raised the matter.
“At the meeting, the Finance Minister kindly agreed to meet a group of senior finance ministry correspondents along with the Guild’s representatives to discuss the objectives of the finance ministry order, allay the media’s apprehensions and explore solutions,” said a statement issued by the Editors Guild of India.
Earlier this month, ThePrint had reported that the finance ministry had barred entry of all journalists at the North Block office, including those accredited by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), unless they had a prior appointment.
Sitharaman later clarified that these procedures were part of “overall efforts… to make reporting for media persons hassle free and convenient”.
The Editors Guild of India had issued a statement on 10 July, criticising the ministry’s order.
This is the first time such restrictions have been imposed on media. Journalists with PIB accreditation are otherwise allowed to freely enter offices of all ministries and departments, barring those of defence and external affairs. The only time media is restricted from entering the finance ministry’s offices are in the two months prior to the Union Budget presentation.