WB govt: No intention to ban large dailies

The West Bengal government said a specific list of newspapers has been drawn up for state-aided and sponsored libraries to promote small newspapers.

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Thursday said a specific list of newspapers has been drawn up for state-aided and sponsored libraries to promote small newspapers and there was no intention to ban large dailies.

"The state government`s purpose is to promote small
newspapers and encourage free thinking which does not mean
that we have imposed censorship on big newspapers or banned
them," Library Minister Abdul Karim Chowdhury said, adding
five more dailies have been incorporated in the list of eight
specified newspapers.

"Major dailies need no backing which small ones require
and this prompted the state government to ask libraries to
subscribe to some of them in the interest of their promotion,"
he said.

The minister said he had a discussion with Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday "and she has given her
consent to our move".

Chowdhury said in addition to eight dailies already
notified for subscription by state-aided and sponsored
libraries, five more newspapers, including an English daily,
have been added to the list.

A fresh notification would be made in a day or two, he
said.

A top government source had said last night that the
order to the libraries by the Department of Mass Education
Extension and Library Services was being amended incorporating
an English daily, beside an Olchiki, Nepali and a Bengali
daily to the original list of eight newspapers.

The order by the state government had evoked criticism
from Trinamool ally Congress, Left parties and the
intelligentsia which said the decision was undemocratic,
undesirable and worse than censorship with a demand being made
for withdrawal of the circular.

PTI

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