ISLAMABAD: (VOM) National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf Wednesday chaired the first meeting of the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG), which has been recently formed by the Prime Minister.
During the meeting, Dr. Moeed said that the main purpose of this group was to have seamless coordination with all relevant ministries and stakeholders and incorporate their input.
He also emphasized upon data backed policy making in accordance with the international best practices while keeping Pakistani sensitivities in mind.
The Prime Minister has constituted the NSMCWG to work on relevant policies related to Social Media, provide input to government on Social Media related issues and engage with international Social Media companies in a coherent and coordinated manner.
Focal Person to Prime Minister on Digital Media, Dr Arslan Khalid, who was also the spokesperson of NSMCWG said, “Social Media is one subject which is being dealt by many ministries and departments.” It was observed that there was weak coordination between the government stake holders resulting in delays and confusion over some policy matters, he added.
“This working group will bring all the relevant stake holders on one platform which will help in better result-oriented engagement with the social media companies,” he underlined.
The Working Group consists of Ministry of Information and Technology as the lead ministry, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Digital Media (Spokesperson), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Digital Media Wing as permanent members while Chair of NSMWG can include any other ministry and department or Think Tank as Co-opted member as and when required.
As per the terms of references (TORs), the NSMCWG would act as a body to coordinate structured engagement with Social Media companies. It was expected to make policy and legislative recommendations to encourage investments of Social Media companies in Pakistan in compliance with the government policies.
For the next meeting, representatives from State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would also be called to give input about the taxation policies regarding Social Media companies.
National Social Media Working group was notified by Prime Minister last week and is expected to report to the Prime Minister on its proceedings regularly.