Journalists’ Welfare: regulations to enable government to establish, operate fund notified
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Thursday notified the regulations, specifying the guidelines which shall enable the federal government to establish and operate Journalists Welfare Fund (JWF). According to a notification issued here, the federal government shall establish the welfare fund for journalists to carry out the purposes of these regulations and the fund shall be used to support and rehabilitate the families of affected journalists.
The profession of journalism demands the speedy and on-the-spot coverage of events and happenings and their immediate dissemination to the general public, the notification added. The wave of terrorism, incidence of violence, grave law and order situation, mob demonstrations, natural calamities, torture, kidnapping and illegal detentions have added to the challenges for the journalists, who have to perform their duties even at the cost of their lives and limbs, it said.
According to the notification, it was imperative to reduce the agony of the family of the deceased or amputated journalist and to provide financial support to such family. The then Prime Minister on August 10, 2011 announced the establishment of Journalists Welfare Fund with initial seed money of Rs 10 million to be contributed by PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.
The Secretary Information and Broadcasting shall be the custodian and operate the accounts of the fund as Principal Accounting Officer. The record of the Fund shall be maintained by the Press Information Department of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the guidance and supervision of a committee constituted under Section-7 of these Regulations.
The Secretary Information and Broadcasting will be the chairman of the committee while Principal Information Officer Member/Secretary. Its other members will be Director General Internal Publicity, President of National Press Club Islamabad, President of Press Club Lahore, President of Press Club Karachi, President of Press Club Peshawar, President of Press Club Quetta and President of Press Club Multan. Five members including Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, and Principal Information Officer, Press Information Department shall constitute quorum for a valid meeting.
The application for financial support out of the fund shall be submitted to the relevant press club which will forward the applications to the secretary of the committee with recommendations. The committee shall meet quarterly and the intervening period between the two meetings shall not be more than 90 days. *Rs 500,000/ shall be given as financial assistance to next of kin to the deceased journalist, who had lost his/her life in the line of duty. *Rs 200,000/ shall be given as financial assistance to next of kin to the deceased journalist, who had met accidental death.
Rs 300,000/- shall be given as financial assistance to the journalist, who had suffered amputation of an organ in the line of duty. *Educational stipend of Rs 2,000 per month shall be given to fifty college going children of journalists for not more than two years to be selected on merit from the journalists children. A journalist may apply for this stipend for only one of his children.
Rs 50,000/- shall be given as one time financial assistance at the marriage of a daughter of the deceased journalist. * Up to Rs 200,000 shall be given to a journalist for treatment in case of ailment relating to heart, liver, kidney, cancer or any other serious disease.
Meanwhile, a press release said Karachi Press Club President Imtiaz Faran, Secretary Amir Latif and Vice-President Saeed Sarbazi appreciated the issuance of notification by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding regulations enabling the government to establish, operate the Journalists Welfare Fund.
Source: Business Recorder