State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mohammad Ali Arafat said the formation and operation of the Journalist Welfare Trust proves that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government are journalist-friendly.
The state minister said this at the 29th meeting of the trustee board of Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust at the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat on Monday afternoon.
At the time, Arafat said, “The present government has tried to do a lot for the journalists. In particular, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given Tk 25 crore for the welfare of journalists. She promised to pay another Tk 10 crore. Yet, at the international level, propaganda is sometimes spread from some places, questioning whether the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu, is shrinking or expanding the space of journalism.”
“But such a big initiative to form a journalist welfare trust for the welfare of journalists proves that she is a journalist-friendly Prime Minister,” he added.
“There is professionalism and transparency in the work of the Journalist Kanyan Trust. It is necessary to keep in mind that the process of selecting journalists to provide assistance from the Journalists' Welfare Trust is more transparent and professional. It is being ensured that there are representatives of journalists at every level of selection. We want to make an impartial and professional decision from the trustee board of the welfare trust,” said the junior minister.
At the meeting, a committee was formed to formulate a policy on the allocation of grants for the welfare of journalists and the committee was given time to formulate the draft policy within a month. Besides, the issue of allocating money for providing emergency education scholarships to the poor, insolvent, seriously injured in accidents and the meritorious children of the deceased journalists was discussed.
Senior Secretary to the ministry and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust Humayun Kabir Khandaker; Member Secretary of Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust Subhash Chandra (Badal) and Chief Information Officer and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Department of Information Shahinur Miah, were present at the time, among others.