All issues of journalist community resolved amicably: Kaira
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Tuesday said that all issues related to journalist community have been resolved amicably.
Talking to the newsmen outside the Parliament House, he said “during a meeting of journalists’ representatives with the Prime Minister, modalities regarding the Journalist Victim Funds, health insurance, grant for the National Press Club, enlisting of journalists with Employees old-Age Benefit Fund (EOBI) have been finalized with journalist community “.
The Minister said Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has issued directives to speed up investigation into killing of the journalists in different areas of the country. The Minister said Rs 50 million have been issued for Journalist Victim Fund. Regarding Umer Cheema, he said committee has been constituted to investigate the matter. He added that findings of the committee would be made public and elements involved the crime would be taken into task.
Kaira said that the matter of group insurance has also been settled with journalists adding first it would be introduced in the capital and later throughout the country. He added that on the request of journalist community, the Prime Minister issued directives for the treatment of ailing journalist on government expenses. He added that deserving journalists in the flood-affected areas would be given compensation on priority.
The Minister said that the issue of bullet proof jackets for journalists would be settled soon assuring that imported jackets would be given to journalists to ensure maximum possible precautionary measures for journalists working in conflict zone reporting.
Kaira added that government of Pakistan People’s Party believes in independence of media as it helps strengthen roots of democracy in the country. Kaira said that PPP workers and the media persons have always struggled jointly for restoration of democracy in the country and this relationship would continue in future as well. Media always played a key role in restoring democracy in the country besides providing support to the government in the war against terrorism, he added.
Kaira said he had offered his services to the journalist community to mediate for an out-of-court settlement of Wage Board issue but they had preferred to wait for the court verdict. He said the court has reserved the decision on 7th Wage Board Award and after its announcement the government would be able to announce 8th Wage Board Award.
To a question he said federal and provincial governments have given compensation from their resources. He recalled that the Prime Minister asked the provinces to arrange resources for the flood affected people from their own resources. He said Rs 200 billion have been allocated by the government for the flood victims. About the release of funds to provinces, he said the government would issue funds to the provinces on the basis of extent of damage in that province and added that all provinces have agreed on the formula. He added the Rs 20,000 compensation being given to affected people has been given from the government resources.
The Minister said that the UN has launched world biggest appeal for Pakistan’s flood victims. He added that international community has been extending support to Pakistan for flood victims.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)