Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Sunday announced easy loans of Rs1 million to Rs3 million for journalists under the Successful Pakistan Scheme.
He announced this while meeting the elected leadership of Lahore Press Club, Punjab Union of Journalists and Punjab Assembly Press Gallery here. He also announced to build five marla flats on two thousand kanals of land and said journalists could get the announced loans on confirmation of Lahore Press Club, Karachi Press Club, National Press Club Islamabad, Peshawar Press Club and Quetta Press Club.
Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari, Senior Vice President Javed Farooqi, Secretary Zahid Chaudhry, Joint Secretary Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting in a meeting with Khawaja Naseer, Treasurer of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Zulfiqar Ali Mehto, President of Punjab Union of Journalists Qamar Zaman Bhatti, General Secretary Khawaja Aftab Hassan, President of Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Afzal Talib and Secretary Abbas Naqvi and expressed their reservations over the Pakistan Media Authority Bill.
Fawad said the government believed in the establishment of independent and responsible media and welfare of journalists and will take practical steps for this. The federal minister further said that journalists across Pakistan would not compromise on freedom of press and freedom of expression.
The journalist leaders said they will not compromise on freedom of expression and raised their voice against rigorous punishments to the journalists and other issues in the bill. They also demanded to include electronic media into the Newspapers employees Employment Act 1973 and link implementation of wage award and salaries of the journalists with the issuance of government advertisement.
They also demanded enactment of new laws to culminate fake news being circulated on social media. They said this should be done in consultation with journalist bodies. They said the final opinion on this bill will be given after the FEC of PFUJ. They further said the journalist community and its leadership would not compromise on the rights of journalists and media workers.
The delegation made it clear to the federal minister that the government should hold talks with the elected journalist leadership on the Pakistan Media Authority Bill and the management of media houses should be abstained from being a hindrance in the working of journalist’s unions in their respective organizations.