Gov’t pledges welfare of media workers: Senator Faisal Javed

Gov’t willing to provide Sehat Sehulat Card facility to people of whole country

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ISLAMABAD, Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting was apprised on Thursday that the federal government was committed to the welfare of the media workers and providing free-of-cost health facilities to journalists and common people alike.

The government was willing to provide Sehat Sehulat Card facility to people of the whole country including the province of Sindh.

“Now it’s up to Sindh government to cooperate with the federal government in that regard,” Senator Faisal Javed told the Senate body while chairing the meeting here.

He said, “Corporate Profitability in Pakistan has risen up 980 Billion. Media owners should also increase salaries of media workers accordingly”.

At the outset, the Committee discussed the “The Protection of Journalist Bill, 2021” moved by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in the House and referred by the House on November 15, 2021.

Senator Saleem Mandviwalla briefed the Committee that the motive behind this Bill was to provide protection and welfare of media workers. The Commission as per the government Bill does not have the powers to solve genuine issues of journalists, he added.

He further stressed that there should be a Commission that has adequate powers to solve the issues and provide a platform to journalists in order to address their grievances.

Chairman Committee questioned the officials from the Ministry of Information as to “Why there is no power available to Commission as per Government Bill”. “This Committee had previously recommended that rather than introducing any new legislation existing mechanisms should be further strengthened”, he added.

Mover of the Bill Senator Saleem Mandviwalla underlined that without giving any powers to Commission the whole thing is just cosmetic and the commission would be toothless.

Senator Irfan Siddiqui was of opinion that the main purpose of the Commission was to ensure that salaries were released to media workers on time.

Senator Saleem Mandviwalla informed the Committee that he would withdraw this Bill and present an Amendment Bill which would be holistic in nature. Chairman Committee decided that the proposed Bill be further discussed in the next meeting of the committee.

The Chairman committee informed the committee members that PTV sports transmission has been upgraded to HD quality. He further felicitated the Ministry officials for their efforts in that regard.

The Committee meeting was attended by Senators, Saleem Mandviwalla, Irfan Siddiqui, Anwar Lal Din, Syed Ali Zafar, and officials from the Ministry of Information and broadcasting.

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