Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has questioned the wisdom of forming a wage board without representatives from newspaper owners.
The government only acts as an intermediary in the discussions and a unilateral wage board with no representatives from the Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh or NOAB is useless, according to the minister.
Inu spoke on the matter on Sunday at the inaugural event of a digital film screening to commemorate the anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s assassination.
“Eighty percent of the work involved in forming a wage board is complete, but we have no representatives from the owners. We have repeatedly urged them to send us names. There is a bit of give-and-take involved. We hope they will present us with representatives soon so that we can form a wage board.”
“Operating a unilateral board without a representative from owners will be difficult,” the minister said.
Wages for journalists were previously set in 2012. Demands for a new pay scale came to a head after government officials received a pay hike last year.
However, progress in the efforts to form the wage board has been slow. Previously, Inu said the reason was that media owners had not sent representatives to the board.
Journalists have threatened to go on strike from Aug 15 if a new wage board is not formed. Inu has asked journalists to be patient.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith angered journalists this month when he remarked that there was no need for a new wage board.
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