Govt committed to resolve problems of newspaper employees: Kaira
ISLAMABAD, Oct 12 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Tuesday that democratic government of the Pakistan Peoples Party was fully committed to resolve the problems of the employees of media organizations.The minister said this while speaking as chief guest at the oath-taking ceremony of Rawalpindi-Islamabad chapter of All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC).The minister urged the newspaper workers to remain united as unity was imperative for achievement of goals. Kaira said that rights have to be achieved through struggle and the journalists community should remain united for this purpose.
About the formation of Journalist Victim Fund, he said that Rs 50 million have already been earmarked for this purpose and only modalities for making this fund operational are to be decided in consultation with journalists community leaders. There is no hurdle on the part of the government i n this regard, he added. Kaira said that the registration of newspaper employees with Employees Oldage Benefit Institute (EOBI) was the offer of the Labour Minister Syed Khursheed Shah and all newspaper employees would become its members. The rules have been modified to accommodate the newspaper workers in EOBI fund. He said that it has to be decided that which organization from APNEC, PFUJ, or Press Clubs would verify the names of the newspaper employees for EOBI benefits. He made it clear that the PPP government would fulfil all its promises made with the masses including the journalists. He said that it has been often said that the government should link issuance of advertisements with implementation of Wage Board Award, but some legal hurdles were involved in this way. Kaira said that after taking charge of the Information Ministry, he stopped payment of dues to those newspapers which had not paid dues of their sacked employees. He said that he had offered the journalists community leaders for negotiations with media houses for wage Board implementation case, but they chose to contest their case in the court. The minister made it clear that the PPP government was not against the proprietors of media houses but it wants that they should pay their employees their due rights. He also urged the media workers to stand united against the forces of exploitation, and those newspapers should be boycotted from where their fellow employees are sacked. The Pakistan people Party started the process of reconciliation and it would continue its politics of reconciliation as it was need of the hour. The Minister said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had signed the Charter of Democracy (CoD) with Mian Nawaz Sharif and the government is respecting it. The minister said that out of 32 points of CoD 28 have been implemented, he added.Qamar Zaman Kaira said PPP has implemented 80 per cent of the manifesto in two and half years which was a big achievement. He said credit for all this achievement goes to people of Pakistan and all political parties. The minister said the country is facing many challenges such as war against terrorism, and federation is still facing many problems even after the passage of the 18th Amendment and the National Finance Commission Award. Kaira said PPP leaders have been martyred but we never confronted with judiciary rather it is facing the court through legal way.