Related file seeking views from other Ministries yet to revert back to Labour Ministry

The Labour and Employment Ministry is taking steps to ensure that the Cabinet nod to the recommendations of Justice G.R. Majithia, who headed the Wage Boards for the Journalists and Other Employees of the Newspapers/News Agencies, is obtained by March and they are gazetted soon afterwards.

Labour and Employment Secretary P.C. Chathurvedi said the file relating to the Cabinet note prepared on the subject with the Ministry seeking comments/views from the other Ministries was already in circulation and it was yet to revert back to his Ministry.

He hoped that it would come back soon.

‘We are at it'

“We are targeting to finish off the job by this month-end,” he told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

The note was circulated to the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Law and Justice, Corporate Affairs and Finance.

While the actual implementation of the awards regarding new pay scales, when gazetted, will come into force with retrospective effect from July 1, 2010, the newspapers/news agencies have been asked to pay the arrears to the employees in three equal instalments after every six months from the date of enforcement of the award.

However, the first arrear instalment should be paid be within three months.

Loss-making papers need not pay arrears

However, the newspaper establishments, which suffered heavy cash losses consequently in three accounting years preceding the date of implementation of the awards, are exempted from payment of any arrears.

But they would be required to pay salaries of their employees on notional basis in the revised scales of pay with effect from the date of implementation of the awards, i.e., July 1, 2010.

Mr. Justice Majithia also clarified in his recommendation that the house rent allowance, transport allowance, hardship allowance or any other allowances would be effective from the date of notification of the award.

Sonia amenable to demands

Meanwhile, a delegation of Kerala Union of Working Journalists, which met United Progressive Alliance Chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi here on Tuesday, claimed that she told them the government would favourably consider the journalists' grievances relating to implementation of the award such as the date of its implementation, the need to extend coverage to those in the electronic media and anomalies in the classification of newspaper establishments.

Letter to MPs

In another development, the national alliance of journalists, an umbrella body of various federations of journalists/other employees organisations, has written to MPs seeking their support for the speedy notification/implementation of the awards and to ensure that the recommendations were not diluted at any level, according to its convener S.K. Pandey.

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