Website registration fee reduced

The government has decided to reduce the registration fee and renewal fee on news websites, the government information department said.

Accordingly the registration of a news website with the Media Ministry will be Rs. 25,000 while the annual renewal fee will now be Rs. 10,000.

Last month Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that news websites must pay Rs. 100,000 (US$ 1000) to register and also Rs. 50,000 (US$ 500) annually.

He said that the payments will be made mandatory under the amended Press Council Act which will regulate websites apart from newspapers.

The high cost put several non-profit news websites operated by individuals at risk of being forced to shut down.

The move followed the controversy over the Sri Lanka Mirror and Sri Lanka X News websites which were raided by the CID recently over allegations of publishing false news.