NMS rider for following minimum wage rule

Kathmandu, May 23

Office bearers of Nepal Media Society today met Minister of Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai and told him that it was not practical for the media industry to implement the new rules governing minimum wage for journalists.

NMS Chair Pushkar Lal Shrestha issued a press release saying that the representatives of NMS told the minister that media houses could consider implementing the new salary rules from the fiscal year beginning July 16, 2017 provided the government met its 12 conditions.

Chief condition among these is that the NMS wants the government to recognise media houses as special industries.

According to the release, Rai said he was in favour of resolving the issue through dialogue with the NMS.

NMS office bearers told the minister that if media industries had to adhere to minimum wage rules for working journalists, then the journalists should have at least Bachelor’s Degree plus three years’ experience in the profession of journalism and the minimum wage rule should apply only to those journalists who work eight hours a day.

Media industries’ umbrella body also told the minister that minimum wage rule should apply only to those journalists only who are not associated with other media outlets or organisations.

According to the release, NMS office bearers also told the minister   that journalists who wish to quit their place of work, should submit their resignation 35 days in advance to make them eligible to receive their allowances.

NMS representatives said journalists wishing to join other media houses should seek prior permission from the media house he/she is associated with.

NMS also told the minister that the government should provide private media houses the amount it provides to government media outlets such as Nepal Television, Radio Nepal and Gorkhapatra.

NMS said media houses should be treated as special industries and interest rate charged on soft loans taken by media industries should not exceed two per cent.

NMS said unless the government clearly stated the duties and responsibilities of working journalists, the minimum wage rule could not be implemented.