ISLAMABAD, Dec 24 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Tuesday announced 8th Wage board award for journalists and assured that the government would take steps for the implementation of the award.

Speaking at a press conference along with Wage Board Award Chairman Justice ® Hasnaat Ahmad Khan, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan had fulfilled the commitment made with the journalist organizations. The government would protect rights of the journalists through the wage award.

Justice ® Hasnaat Ahmad had finalized the award after holding meetings with more than 100 stakeholders, she added.

Dr Firdous congratulated the journalist organizations, including the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and regional press clubs on the success of their 18-year struggle for the wage award.

She said after 2001, an attempt was made to create controversy about the wage award. The previous award was challenged in the court and it was only restored by a court in 2011, she noted.

She said the minimum salary of the journalists would be equal to the minimum wage announced by the government. The wages of different categories of journalists would be raised by 145 percent, 134 percent, 129 percent, 219 percent, 240 percent, 250 percent, 267 percent, 270 percent, 359 percent, 366 percent and 384 percent respectively, she added.

The financial needs of the regional press, she said, were also taken care of. The total amount of the award to be paid to the journalists would be Rs 250 million.

The special assistant said it was a matter of satisfaction that the journalist organizations were united for their cause. A comprehensive strategy would be adopted for the implementation of the award.

The Wage Board Award chairman said the way to implement the award was to link the payment of salaries of journalists with issuance of the government advertisements to media houses.