Govt accepts journalists’ demands on Wage Board, security
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday accepted the demands put up by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) for the formation of the 8th Wage Board Award and security of media houses and press clubs.
Speaking to journalists gathered at a sit-in before the Parliament House, Federal Information and Broadcasting Secretary Dr Nazir Saeed announced a compensation plan for the killed and injured media persons.
PFUJ President Afzal Butt, Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President Ali Raza Alvi and other representatives of journalists led negotiations with the government. The secretary said his ministry worked on a plan of action to accept the demands of journalists and now a journalist killed in the line of duty would get Rs1 million and an injured journalist Rs300,000. He said a special desk would be set at the Press Information Department (PID) to facilitate media workers in getting life insurance through the Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI).
He said the government had also worked on a plan for providing effective security to media houses and press clubs.
He said special public prosecutors would be appointed at federal and provincial levels, speedy trials would be held and witnesses would be provided protection in cases of media persons killed in violence. He said steps were being taken for the formation of the Eighth Wage Board Award.
He said the government was in the process of finalising the names for the board in consultation with all stakeholders. He said the chairman of Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE) would also be appointed.
He said a welfare fund would be set up for the media persons and the provincial governments would contribute to this fund. The assemblies of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had backed the demands of journalists and the Sindh Assembly would also approve a resolution in their support in the next session. Afzal Butt and Ali Raza Alvi said the journalist organisations would continue to strive for the protection and promotion of the rights of media persons.