Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) has demanded interim dearness allowances (DA) for journalists to keep balance with the inflation and current market situation as prices of essential commodities are on rising trend in the country.
"Rising trend of essential items' prices has increased the living costs that have also put journalist community into severe financial crisis," BFUJ President Omar Faruque and acting Secretary-General Mohsin Kazi said in a statement today.
They also demanded an amendment to the 9th Wage Board Award for reinstating the facilities for journalists enjoyed under the previous wage board awards within the quickest possible time and its implementation.
The journalist leaders said the government declared the 9th Wage Board Award on September 12 in 2019 where previous facilities of the journalists were curtailed in the 12th chapter of the wage board in the name of the cabinet committee's recommendation.
As a result, the income tax payment has been imposed on journalists instead of media owners and one gratuity was fixed instead of two, they added.
It was said that the wage board award would be implemented gradually but actually halted the implementation of the award due to contradictory decisions, the BFUJ leaders said, adding that the crisis centring the wage board has become acute in the post-Covid-19 period.
The government formed the 9th Wage Board headed by retired justice Md Nizamul Haque on January 29 in 2018 responding to the demand of journalists, considering the then overall situation and cost of living standard in the country.
Besides, the BFUJ leaders demanded a wage board for the journalists working in different electronic media, including radios and television channels, and its implementation as soon as possible.