New Delhi: The Ministry for Information and
Broadcasting has sought guidance from the Ministry of External
Affairs over formulation of a policy for issuance of temporary
cards to foreign journalists based in Delhi.
Foreign journalists representing various international
media organisations were till last year being issued temporary
cards by Press Information Bureau (PIB) which enabled their
entry to all government departments and ministries, except in
the MEA and the Defence Ministry.
Value wise, these cards were equivalent to the PIB
accreditation cards given to Indian journalists.
A senior official in the I&B Ministry today said that
these temporary cards which were renewed after every three
months, were issued to foreign journalists after receiving
security clearance from the Home Ministry.
However, last year, after some problem arose with a
foreign journalist`s Home Ministry clearance, PIB stopped
issuing these cards, the official said.
The official added that temporary cards were being
issued to foreign scribes since past several years by PIB and
there was no definite policy about it in writing.
After last year`s incident when the ministry stopped
issuing these cards, the Foreign Secretary had written to the
I&B Ministry Secretary over the non-issuance of these
temporary cards to foreign journalists.
Ministry sources said that the I&B Ministry has recently
responded to MEA`s letter, seeking its guidance on forming a
policy for issuance of these cards.
Incidentally, a Japanese journalist, who had asked
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about non-issuance of PIB card
to him during the PM`s press conference earlier this week, had
also been issued a temporary card, sources said.
There are some 100-odd foreign journalists based in