Minimum pay provision for journos draws ire

Kathmandu, September 9

The media fraternity today took strong exception to the government’s decision to include them in Directive Committee and monitoring sub-committees formed by the Ministry of Information and Communications for the implementation of minimum wage for journalists and employees working with media houses.

On September 4, the MoIC had formed Directive Committee headed by chairperson of Minimum Wages Fixation Committee.

The seven-member committee included president of Federation of Nepali Journalists, joint secretary (communications division) at the MoIC, director general at the Department of Information, chairperson of Media Society Nepal, chairperson of Broadcasting Association of Nepal and chairperson of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal.

Similarly, five-member print media monitoring sub-committee, five-member television broadcasters monitoring sub-committee and six-member radio (FM) monitoring sub-committee have been constituted to monitor implementation of minimum wage provision.

“We strongly object to the formation of the committee and sub-committees on September 4 and a letter written to us by the MoIC the same day.

At a time when we have disagreements over the minimum salary structure recommended by the Minimum Wages Fixation Committee and imposed by the outgoing government unilaterally, the media fraternity would like to bring it to the notice of the government that we will not be able to participate in the said committee and sub-committees,” read a joint press statement issued by MSN, BAN and ACORAB.

“We have already made it clear to the Prime Minister, and Minister Surendra Kumar Karki that it would be impossible for the media fraternity to implement minimum wage for journalists and other staffers until our demands are fulfilled as the media sector, which was badly hit by the earthquakes and blockade, has yet to fully recover,” said the statement.