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Wage Board for journalists totally unnecessary, says Muhith

09 August 2017 bdnews24.com


Journalists in Bangladesh get paid more than civil servants, and should therefore not have a wage board, Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said.
He made the comment after a meeting with the Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh or NOAB on Tuesday, amid an ongoing movement by journalists demanding a new pay scale.
"A wage board for journalists is unnecessary, totally unnecessary. Because your salary scales are better than government salary scales," said the minister.
A journalist then told Muhith that government employees receive pension after retirement. He said he used to get paid Tk 8,000 when he entered the profession with a master's graduate.
"We have peons who are university graduates. We have five pay scales," replied Muhith.
The current wage board for journalists came into effect in 2012.
The Ministry of Information has been working on a ninth wage board for journalists after they started a movement for better wages following the increase in salaries for government employees.
The new board's formation is being put off because NOAB was yet to name its representatives, the ministry has said. Upon hearing Muhith's comment, a journalist told him that he was "being misled by newspaper owners".
"Then one or two of you should take this responsibility, and give me your salary grade," the minister said.
The journalists also told him that there was no wage board for television journalists, and that not all newspapers follow the scale for paying their employees. Muhith then asked, "How many daily newspapers are there in Dhaka?" A journalist replied, "201." "Rubbish! It's my answer to you. Rubbish! 201?" Muhith said.    

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