Kozhikode, Sep 1 (UNI) Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi today said he would ensure speedy announcement of interim relief by the Union government for journalists and non-journalists in the country.
When his attention was drawn to the prolonged delay in announcing the interim relief, he told a meeting, held to present media awards here that he would take up the matter with Union Labour Minister OSCAR fernandes as soon as he reached New Delhi.
Condemning the recent attacks on mediapersons in Kerala, Mr Ravi said political parties and labour leaders had the responsibility to protect journalists covering incidents relating to hartal and general strikes.
Justice K Narayana Kurup, who headed the two wage boards for working journalists and non-journalists in newspapers and news agencies, had recommended an interim relief of 30 per cent of the basic pay for newspaper employees with effect from January 8, 2008, but the government has not taken any action on it so far.
Underlining the need for a rethinking on frequent hartals and strikes in the country, Mr Ravi called for a debate on this form of agitation, as the country's economy was adversely affected.
It was time for a serious discussion on the issue, as political scenario in the country had changed a lot since 60 years' of Independnece.
Expressing happiness over India winning three medals at the Beijing Olympics, he noted it was all because of individual efforts, because there was not much support and encouragement from the government agencies or corporate houses to sportpersons in the country and called for an effective sports policy aimed at improving standard in the next world event in London.
Urging corporate houses to contribute immensely for development of sports, he said ''unfortunately'' there was not much initiative from big business houses so far.
Different awards instituted by the Calicut Press Club were presented to Senior Sub Editor Ciji Ulahanna (Kerala Kaumudi), News photographer P R Rajesh (Mangalam), Assistant Editor Sibi Kattampalli (Malayala Manorama), Assistant Editor T P Cheruppa (Madhyamam) and Reporter M Biju Kumar (Thejas).
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