All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) decides to boycott 7th Wage Board
KARACHI- The All Pakistan Newspapers Society decided to boycott the 7th Wage Board. The executive committee, however, accepted a mediation offer by Information and Media Development Minister Javed Jabbar to address the boycott issue as well as the financial crises facing the print media due to the impact of successive wage awards, said APNS Secretary General Arshad A. Zuberi.
The executive committee expressed its dismay at the failure of the authorities to remove the controls imposed on the media by the past dictatorial regimes. “While the government has withdrawn the quota system for newsprint, other levers of coercion still exist like the wage board award system,” says-a press release.
Unfortunately, the APNS members said, the print media remained the only private sector enterprise where a government imposed the system to determine salaries and perks forcing newspapers to increase their cover prices to levels which are far higher than in neighbouring countries and beyond the purchasing power of people.
They regretted that the chairman of the 7th Wage Board even before holding a single hearing or familiarizing himself with the financial structure of the industry had already publicly committed himself to announcing an interim relief within this month. They recalled that the Press and Publications Ordinance, the newsprint permit system, the formation of National Press Trust to take over major publications like The Pakistan Times, Imroze, Mashriq, Morning News, and the premier news agency APP, and the promulgation of Newspapers Employees conditions of Services Act formed part of the same policy framework to control and suppress the dissemination of news and views in the country.