The cabinet wants journalists to pay income tax, earlier paid by owners
The Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) urged a review of the 9th wage board, demanding the withdrawal of unethical, irrelevant, and misguided statements made by the Newspapers’ Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB),on various occasions.
DUJ President Abu Zafar Surza, and DUJ General Secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury, made these demands in a press release on Tuesday, signed by DUJ office secretary Amir Mohammad.
In the recently declared 9th wage board, house rent went down and yearly gratuities were halved. Journalists now have to pay income tax as well, which was earlier paid by the owners of media establishments.
The press release said: “Recommendations made by the cabinet committee disheartened journalists.
“According to the previous wage board, journalists were entitled to two gratuities [equivalent to two months of basic salary], but in the 9th wage board, the gratuities were reduced to one,” the statement reads.
Pointing out the High Court order that directs owners to pay employee taxes, DUJ leaders questioned the cabinet committee’s recommendations.
“In the 9th wage board it has to be paid by journalists. Why the cabinet committee has recommended this is not clear to journalists, since the proposed wage board ostensibly upholds the High Court order,” reads the press release.
The DUJ demanded justification and questioned whether it was an attempt to create a rift between the government and the judiciary.
The DUJ slammed NOAB for plotting to deprive journalists of their rights.
“From the very inception of the wage board, NOAB has been obstruction the wage board’s work,” DUJ claimed.
DUJ leaders said statements made by the NOAB on different occasions, tried to misguide concerned government offices as well as tried to undermine journalists. “It is not acceptable from NOAB,” the press release said.