Government surprised over All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) allegation
ISLAMABAD- An official spokesman has expressed surprise over the allegation by APNS that the government was pursuing a “hegemonic role over the consequently weakened press” to create a rift between employers and employees of the newspaper industry.
“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” the spokesman said while commenting on a press release issued by the APNS, which published in the newspapers on September 23.
In fact, the Information and Labour Ministries have been pursuing a clear and consistent policy of maintaining a constructive and cooperative working relationship with the newspaper industry. The government is community to a meritorious, harmonious relationship between the employees and the employers. This is not only good for the newspaper industry but is also in the interest of society as a whole.
The spokesman further said that the APNS claim that the government “tried to pitch workers against the employers” is totally incorrect the fact is that it is the endeavour of the government to promote amity, understanding and cordial relationship between them.
The Ministry of Information provided an informal forum for a dialogue between the working journalists and the members of the newspaper industry to iron out their differences. Convening of such informal meetings reflects the government’s resolve to promote understanding between the working journalists and the members of the newspaper industry. The allegation of seeking a “weakened press”, is also baseless as the current trend of reporting in the free press bears testimony to the fact that the Ministry of Information neither interferes in the management of newspapers nor in the content of print media.
The spokesman clarified that the announcement of the 7th Wage Board was in fulfillment of a legal requirement. However, the composition of the 7th Wage Board was announced by the government only after receiving the nominations from the APNS so far as representative of employers was concerned.
The spokesman further clarified that the Minister for Information and the Minister for Labour have all along been assuring that the proceedings of the 7th Wage Board will be totally unbiased and for the benefit of the newspaper industry and the journalists.
Clarifying a reference to the chairman of the Wage Board, the spokesman said that the government had appointed an eminent and highly respected jurist who is a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan as the chairman of the 7th Wage Board. He said that the chairman had in a statement already clarified the remarks that were attributed to him in the Press.
Source: Business Recorder