We Stand Up For BBC: UK Government In Parliament After India's Tax Survey

After the Income-Tax Department's three-day last week survey operations on the UK-headquartered media corporation's New Delhi and Mumbai offices, the British government has vehemently defended the BBC and its editorial independence in Parliament. In response to an urgent question from the House of Commons on Tuesday, a junior minister from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) stated that the government is unable to comment on the accusations made by the I-T department due to a "ongoing investigation," but emphasised that media freedom and freedom of speech are crucial components of "robust democracies." The UK was able to address a wide range of topics in a "constructive manner" because of its "broad and deep relationship" with India, according to David Rutley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the FCDO. The BBC is supported by us. We support We want the BBC to have that editorial flexibility," said Mr. Rutley, "We think the is essential." It criticises both the administration and the (opposition) Labour party, and it has the independence we think is so crucial. That independence is essential, he continued, and we want to be able to convey its significance to our partners throughout the globe, including the Indian government. The I-T department of India conducted what has been referred to as a survey on the BBC's offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, starting on February 14 and concluding three days later, on February 16, the minister said the Commons.

The minister said that the BBC is "operationally and editorially autonomous" and that the FCDO finances services in 12 languages, including four Indian languages: Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, and Telugu. The minister also noted the importance of the public broadcaster. It will continue to do so, he added, because it's crucial to make sure that our voice - and an independent voice, via the BBC- is heard everywhere. When questioned about conversations with the Indian government and the "very alarming raids" by opposition Lawmakers, the minister added: "It is because of our broad and deep partnership with India that we are able to address a wide variety of concerns with its government in a constructive manner." This problem has been brought up throughout those talks, and we keep an eye on the issue. Northern Ireland MP Jim Shannon brought up the important issue, calling the incident a "deliberate act of intimidation following the publication of an unfavourable documentary about the country's leader" and harshly criticising the UK government for keeping nothing on the matter. Seven days have passed since the raids. Since that time, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Offices have kept a respectful quiet. Shannon, a member of Parliament for the Democratic Unionist Party, stated that "no official remarks have been published, and it has taken an urgent question to push the government to denounce this clear attack on journalistic liberties" (DUP).

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a British Sikh Labour MP, stated his worries that "India, a country with whom we share ideals of democracy and press freedoms, decided to undertake a raid on the headquarters following the screening of a documentary critical of the Indian Prime Minister's activities." The minister retorted, "These problems have unquestionably been highlighted as part of those negotiations. The authorities in India have previously conducted similar "investigations of media organisations that are critical of the current administration," other Labour Lawmakers said. We conduct those dialogues not only with the government of India but with governments all over the world. "We need to make sure that our views on media freedom are expressed properly with other nations.As I mentioned, they are highly important ideas and fundamental components of healthy democracies. "We are able to address a wide variety of topics with the government of India in a constructive manner because to our broad and deep relationship, which is governed by the comprehensive strategic partnership and the 2030 road map for India-UK future ties." "We continue to constantly monitor the situation," he continued. Bob Blackman of the Conservative Party, a staunch supporter of the Indian government, requested the minister to confirm whether has been under investigation by Indian I-T officials for seven years. On "an ongoing inquiry that is actively involved in," the minister chose not to comment. After the poll, the Income Tax Department issued a statement that the organization's units had declared income and earnings that were "not in line with the extent of activities in India."

We Stand Up For BBC: UK Government In Parliament After India's Tax Survey

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