Rashid to take up wage award issue -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rashid to take up wage award issue

ISLAMABAD – Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed assured the National Assembly on June 21 that he would take up the unanimously passed resolution of the house regarding seventh wage award in the next cabinet meeting.

He was responding to a point of order raised by MMA leader Liaquat Baloch. Information Minister said that issue of the wage award implementation is very sen­sitive. He added that for the first tiine government has taken this issue seriously to link it with advertisements. ‘I am committed to take up this issue before the next cabinet meeting and I have already discussed this issue with President Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir. Zafarullah Khan Jamali,” said Sheikh Rashid.

He said that president and the prime minister were fully cognizant of wilfull advertisement campaign launched against the government. He termed the APNS ongoing advertisement campaign against the government and its functionaries illogical and unfounded. He added that this wilful propaganda is against journalistic ethic and prevailing moral values.

This is an ample prove of the government’s commitment to the freedom of expression and the press and humbly facing unjustified, false and blunt allegations. He told the National Assembly that the APNS’ baseless campaign is the contempt of the House, which passed the resolution unanimously in support of newspapers workers.’Neither we have any intention to close any newspapers nor to shirt eyes to workers’ problems, he remarked. “We want a lasting solution of the issue’, said the information minister. He said that when the cabinet would take any decision regarding the award, “I will apprise the House of it’. After the decision government will take the APNS and the representatives of the workers into confidence for an amicable settlement.

Liaquat Baloch on a point of order said that gulf between news­paper owners and employees is stretching due to non implementation of the Wage Board award. He said that newspapers employees are facing hard time due to nonimplementation of wage award and “we will support wage award findings. He also commanded government standon 7th Wage Board award implementation.

About the ongoing advertisement campaign, he said that we should take it seriously and also discuss their problems. Quoting rule 225, he suggested special committee of the House to be headed by speaker with 12 members of House and representative from employees and employer for the amicable solution of the issue. On the occasion Speaker Ch Amir Hussain said that he “will think to form committee.”

Dr. Sher Afghan on the occasion said that after the Supreme Court verdict and resolution passed by four provincial assemblies and National Assembly there is no bar on the government to implement wage board in letter and spirit.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed on a point of order said that there is also a sensitive issue of differentiating between Journalists and non-journalists regarding implementation which should strictly be opposed.

Dr. Sher Afghan also supported the Qazi Hussain Ahmed assertion and said that wage award should be implemented in letter and spirit.
Source: The News
Date:6/22/2004