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Wage board recommends 3 times pay hike for Indian journalists

Happy New Year: The Chairman, National Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-Journalists & News Agency Employees, Justice GR Majithia presenting the final Report to the Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, PC Chaturvedi, in New Delhi on December 31, 2010.Photo: Press Information Bureau

The Wage Boards for working journalists and non-journalists and other newspaper employees in India have recommended 2.5 to 3 times hike in basic pay and fixing the retirement age at 65.

To be implemented retrospectively from January 8, 2008, the revised basic pay has been computed after merging the existing basic pay, the dearness allowance and the 30 per cent interim relief that had been already granted, an official statement issued by the government said.

The panels have also suggested establishment of a permanent tribunal consisting of employees and employers for grievance redressal, Justice G R Majithia, who headed the panels, said after presenting the reports to Labour and Employment Secretary Prabhat Chaturvedi.

The revised basic pay has been computed after merging the existing basic pay, the dearness allowance (DA) and the 30 per cent interim relief already granted besides 35 per cent variable pay. Taking into account the concept of grade pay introduced in the Sixth Pay Commission, the two boards also introduced a "variable pay" for all employees working in newspaper establishments and news agencies. The boards proposed a variable pay of 35 per cent. This will be implemented from July 1, 2010.

The basic pay at the entry level could be anywhere around Rs 9,000 while the basic pay drawn at the senior level could be around Rs. 25,000 in a category 1 media house.

The recommendations would be examined by the Labour Ministry before they are tabled before the Union Cabinet for approval.

The boards also recommended that the DA be paid biannually with effect from July 1 and January 1 every year and the rate of neutralisation for determining the DA would be 100 per cent of the basic pay for all groups of employees. The boards also recommended revision of house rent, transport, and night shift allowances.

They recommended that the house rent allowance be paid at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent of the basic pay to employees posted in areas defined as area X, Y and Z respectively. The transport allowance at the rate of 20 per cent, 10 per cent and five per cent shall be paid by newspaper establishments to its employees posted in respective areas defined as X, Y and Z respectively. The hardship allowance has been recommended at Rs 1000 for employees working in hilly areas.

The employees working in the newspaper establishment of classes I and II and classes III and IV shall be paid medical allowance at the rate of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 per month per employee respectively. But no medical allowance shall be paid to employees who are covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation.

News agencies with a revenue of over Rs 60 crore have been put in the same place as top rung newspapers following the Boards' reclassification of news papers and news agencies. Press Trust of India (PTI), therefore, has been put in the top spot with United News of India (UNI) in the second slot.
The Wage Boards were constituted three years ago for the purpose of fixing or revising rates of wages in respect of working journalists and non-journalists and other newspaper employees.

Date posted: January 1, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 944