12 Feb 2024, 21:12

Journalist Welfare Trust proves Sheikh Hasina's govt is journalist-friendly: Arafat

DHAKA, Feb 12, 2024 (BSS) - State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mohammad Ali Arafat today said formation and operation of Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust proved that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government are journalist-friendly.

He was addressing the 29th meeting of the board of trustees of 'Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust' at his ministry's conference room at Bangladesh Secretariat here this afternoon, said an official release.

Arafat, also chairman of the trustee board, said though the present government is doing much for betterment of journalists, but sometimes some quarters at the international level spread misinformation, questioning whether the government led by Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is shrinking or expanding the space for journalism.

Noting that the Prime Minister has given Taka 25 crore for welfare of journalists and committed to give more Taka 10 crore, the state minister said formation of the Journalist Welfare Trust for welfare of journalists proved that Sheikh Hasina is a journalist-friendly prime minister.

He put emphasis on highlighting the government's initiatives taken to ensure welfare of journalists in national and international arenas.

Pointing that there is professionalism and transparency in operating activities of the trust, Arafat drew attention to ensure more professionalism and transparency in the process of selecting journalists to be supported by the trust.

At every stage of selection, representation from journalists is being ensured, he said, adding, "We want to ensure unbiased and professional decisions from the board of trustees of the welfare trust".

The state minister said: "We want to materialize the purpose for which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formed the Journalist Welfare Trust. We really want to ensure that the money of the trust is spent for the welfare of journalists".

In the meeting, a committee was formed to formulate a policy on the allocation of welfare grants to journalists and it has been asked to formulate draft of the policy within one month.

Besides, the meeting discussed about allocation of funds for providing emergency stipends to meritorious children of insolvent, seriously injured in accident and dead journalists.

Information and Broadcasting Senior Secretary and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Journalist Welfare Trust Md Humayun Kabir Khandaker, Member Secretary of the board Shubash Chanda (Badol) and members of the board Principal Information Officer Md Shahinoor Miah, Finance Division's Joint Secretary Mohammad Sadekur Rahman, Information and Broadcasting Ministry's Joint Secretary Md Kawser Ahammad, BFUJ-Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists President Omar Faruque, Managing Editor of Dainik Sangbad Kashem Humayun and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) President Sohel Haider Chowdhury were present at the meeting.

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