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Journalists' welfare top priority for government: Inu

DHAKA, Aug 23, 2016(BSS)-Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, today said that the present government was pledge-bound to support the media.

"The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina established a Journalists' Welfare Fund to support insolvent and sick journalists. In future, the work of the Fund would be diversified to cater to other welfare needs of the journalist," he added.

The fund which is worth Taka one crore and forty lakh, this year, is likely to go up in future. This year it will benefit some 196 journalists.

The minister was speaking at a press conference today at the Press Information Department (PID) auditorium at the Secretariat premises.

He also cited the updating and enactment of laws to respond to a fast-changing media landscape. He cited the establishment of the independent Broadcasting Commission and related Law for ensuring free flow of information. He also mentioned the huge number of publications, TV and radio channels allowed during the current government's tenure.

He further said, "We've not only limited our work to Bangladesh but taken steps to broaden our horizon. The inauguration of the Bangladesh-India Friendship Radio Channel today shows our success in projecting Bangladesh beyond our borders."

The minister also explained the role of the ministry in combating adverse propaganda, globally, particularly during the 2014 boycott of the general election by certain political parties and the concomitant mayhem including terror by using fire bombs.

He also cited the Hefazat-i-Islam anarchy in 2013 and said the government had successfully dispelled the rumors spread by subversive elements.

The same was true about the Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) misinformation which the ministry had successfully refuted.

Secretary of the ministry Mortuza Ahmed elaborated the progress and achievement of the information ministry in the past eight years from 2009 to 2016.

It included establishment of new institutions like the Film and Television institute, relocation of radio and film studios and the introduction of the Eighth Wage Board for journalists.

The meeting was conducted by Principal Information Officer (PIO) A K M Shamim Chowdhury.

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