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

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Mayawati's 'success' depends on how BSP taps new crop of young Amdekarite leaders

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Whatever be the election results in Uttar Pradesh on March 10, it is extremely important to understand: that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader Mayawati have the potential to rise like a Phoenix any time.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

India's actual Covid death rate about 2500 per million, third highest in world: Study

By Rajiv Shah  There is now well-researched proof, if it can be called that, indicating that the Government of India may have fudged data to show lower Covid death rate. A new paper, published in “Science”, has said that while officially the Government of India’s Covid-related death estimates as of January 1, 2022 – 345 per million population – are one-seventh of the US death rate, the actual analysis of crude death rate in India suggests, this may be a gross underestimation. 

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.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".