I&B Ministry seeks guidance from MEA on cards to fgn scribes



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 Delhi.

PTI