Journalists walk out of NA in wage board protest
ISLAMABAD – Journalists covering National Assembly proceedings walked out of the Parliament Press Gallery on July 19 to protest the government’s inability to implement the Wage Board Award.
Parliamentarians from the treasury and opposition benches supported the journalists. National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain said that that the entire house was with the journalists and would have the wage board implemented, no matter what.
“The government will leave no stone unturned in the implementation of the Wage Board Award,” said Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. “The wage board is merely a judicial matter and the court has given a ruling in its favour.”
“The house has also passed a unanimous resolution for the wage board implementation,” he said. “ I took the matter to the cabinet for discussion. A four-member committee was formulated but newspaper owners objected to my chairmanship, saying that I was favouring journalists.” He said that he had made Shaukat Aziz the chairman of the committee because of these allegations.
The committee discussed the matter with journalists and newspaper owners. Newspaper owners rejected the demand of the attachment of wage board advertisements in newspapers while journalists favoured the decision.
“To settle the matter once and for all, we have constituted two sub committees consisting of two federal ministers, two newspaper owners and two journalists’ representatives,” said Mr Ahmed. “We have set an eight-day limit for the resolution of differences.” The government wants to settle the matter amicably, he said.
Those who supported the implementation of the wage board included Dr Sher Afgan, Dr Farooq Sattar, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Tehmina Daultana and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. “The non-implementation of the wage board, despite rulings from the Supreme Court and National Assembly, is a contempt of court and a disgrace upon the honourable house,” they said.
Source: Daily Times