ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the government believes in the freedom of press andwants to strengthen this fourth pillar of the state. Giving a policy statement on a Bill for the Protection of Journalists by Jamaat-e-Islami Parliamentary Leader in Senate Prof. Khurshid Ahmad, she said the government has taken a number of steps for the welfare of the Journalist community. She said Prime Minister has established a fund of worth two hundred million rupees for the journalists.
The Minister said the government has planned some regulations in consultation with PFUJ and press clubs which is being implemented. She said five hundred thousand rupees will be given to the heirs of journalist who lost his life while performing his duty. Two hundred thousand rupees will be paid the heirs of the journalist who lost his life in an accidental death. Three hundred thousand rupees will be given to journalist who lost any organ while performing his duty. Fifty thousand rupees will be paid to the journalist for the marriage of his daughter. Two thousand rupees scholarship will be awarded to one child of the deserving journalist for his education.
The Minister said more facilities will be provided the journalists in consultation with bodies of the journalists. The chair referred the Journalists Protection and Welfare Bill, 2011 moved by Prof. Khurshid Ahmad and others to the concerned committee. The chair also referred the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2011 moved by Saeeda Iqbal and others to the concerned committee of the House.