LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Information Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Friday announced that the provincial government would announce a relief package for the journalist community in the wake of ongoing fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a press conference, he said that the package was to pay tribute to the services being rendered by the journalist community and the media workers in the war against coronavirus.
He said that Punjab was the first province which was going to launch a package for welfare of the media workers.
He said that the government would pay one million rupees compensation to the family of any journalist who passes away due to the deadly disease. Besides, Chohan said, the provincial government would also pay Rs100,000 to any journalist who contracts COVID-19 while performing his/her official duties. The provincial information department would also pay Rs10,000 monthly pension for life to the family if any journalist passes away due to coronavirus, he added.
Chohan said that the provincial information department would provide masks and protective gear to newspaper hawkers in a bid to protect them from the virus.
He said that the Punjab government has decided to give tax exemptions to the media houses and clear their pending dues so that they did not have to face financial losses due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. He expressed the hope that the impact of the tax exemption and payment of dues would also reach the media workers.
Responding to a question, he said that a final decision regarding continuation of lockdown in the province would be made at the end of the date earlier announced by the government.
He said that on directions of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, strict action was being taken against profiteers and hoarders. He also urged political parties to avoid doing politics on the national issue as unity was needed to cope with the pandemic.