Report on journalists’ welfare trust bill placed in JS

The aims and objectives of ‘Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust Bill, 2014′ are providing financial assistance to the poor, insolvent, sick and wounded journalists, stipend for special contribution of the journalists, and award stipend to the meritorious children of journalists, Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu said.

The JS standing committee report on the Trust was placed in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Sunday with a recommendation for passage of the bill in an amended form. Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Ministry AKM Rahmatullah placed the bill in the House.

Earlier, Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu introduced the bill on April 2 this year.

A 13-member board of trustee would be constituted with information minister as the chairman of the board while information secretary the vice-chairman. The trust would be a statutory body and the managing director, to be appointed by the govt, would act as member secretary of the trust.

The other members of the trust will be: Principal Information Officer (PIO), a DG-level officer to be nominated by the PMO, a finance division officer with the rank and status of not below a joint secretary, DG of Bangladesh Press Institute, joint secretary (press) from the Ministry of Information, two BFUJ representatives and three journalists to be nominated by the government.

The trust will have two funds–permanent and current–and the government will mainly provide the fund.

It may be mentioned here that the step for making such a trust for the welfare of journalists was taken with the guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. At an earlier help-cheque distribution program she instructed the journalist leaders and concerned government officials to give the Trust a constructive shape so that the journalists can get its benefit for ever. — Staff Reporter

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