Skip to main content

Newspaper industry "using" Modi govt's vulnerability following noteban: Journalists' leader on Majithia award

By Our Representative
Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “vulnerable position” vis-a-vis the powerful newspaper industry following his demonetization “misadventure”? It would seem so, if one believes in what a top trade unionist representing journalists' cause for higher pay for print media has to say.
Arguing that the noteban of November 8 last year is one of the main pretexts for the newspaper owners not seeking to implement the Government of India-appointed Majithia award for their employees, MJ Pandey, who is one of main faces of the joint action committee for implementing the award, says, the owners are taking advantage of the Modi government “vulnerable position” on this count.
Pandey, who heads the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ), says, “Newspaper owners are seeking to twist the arm of the Modi government” because of the vulnerability of the “demonetisation fiasco.”
Modi's vulnerability further increases, according to this leader, because of “the chaos over the forthcoming elections to the UP, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur state assemblies.”
Two separate wage boards were constituted under in May 2007 former Mumbai High Court Judge Justice GR Majithia for journalists and non-journalists in newspapers. Majithia gave award to the Centre on December 31, 2010.
Pandey's statement is in response to an unsigned Times of India (TOI) editorial, published on January 19. The TOI editorial, which says that the newspaper industry is “hard-hit by factors beyond its control”, and therefore it “needs reasonable tax and labour policies”, especially argues out how “demonetisation has wreaked havoc on the print media.”
According to the editorial “The Indian newspaper business is heavily dependent on advertising revenue, which contributes 70-80% to its total revenue. This was, in any case, showing little growth in the last few years – 4-6% compared to TV’s 15-18% and digital’s 35-40%. But demonetisation has compounded the situation by squeezing spends across almost all categories of advertisers.”
Print media: As seen by TOI edit
The editorial comes close on the heels of the recent closure of six editions of The Hindustan Times, which TOI makes the "peg" in order to allegedly “seek a range of concessions – from a part-discontinuance of the wage board for newspaper employees, to subsidies on advertising and tax”, says Pandey.
Providing the example of how the newspaper industry is seeking to take advantage of the alleged vulnerability in which the Modi government, Pandey points to the response of information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu to the TOI editorial: “If required consultations with stakeholder ministries will also be initiated; will also meet representatives of industry for discussions”.
Arguing that the industry's claim that the salaries of nearly 40,000 journalists and non-journalists under the award would hike by 45-50% if the award is implemented, Pandey quotes from the award, which says that there would be “around 35 and 20% increase in the wages/salaries over and above the salary” of journalists and non-journalists.
Saying that the wages would form “about 13.5% of the gross revenue in respect of newspaper establishments” once award is implemented, the award also insisted, it would result “in further burden of just 3.5 per cent of gross revenue.”
Calculating “gross revenue” by including multi-edition media houses' businesses in advertising and brand-related event management, entertainment, electronic and digital media, real estate, power generation, mining etc.”, Pandey argues, “They have to account for all their gross revenue. But the bosses do not want to comply.”

Comments

TRENDING

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.