ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb Monday announced the constitution of the Eighth Wage Board after 18 years after lengthy parleys with the journalist community.

She said the summary in this regard had been sent to the prime minister by the ministry of Information and necessary notification would be issued after approval of the cabinet in its next meeting.

The minister revealed that the Wage Board would comprise a chairman and representatives of the media organisations and owners of media houses. Representatives of National Press Club, PFUJ (Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists) and media organisations were also present with the minister while she made this announcement. She said the PFUJ and media groups had fully cooperated in the process of consultations.

The minister said the announcement  was not a ritual but a practical step. She said that a delegation of journalists from all over the country headed by the PFUJ president visited her office about ten days ago and discussed the issue of Wage Board Award.

She said that she was announcing the award after 18 years with the cooperation of the media.

Marriyum said that former information minister Pervez Rashid had also made strenuous efforts for the Eighth Wage Board Award and he wanted to accomplish the task assigned to him by the former prime minister as soon as possible. The minister said that a committee had also been formed for drafting laws for the electronic media and after completion of the consultative process the bill would be presented in the parliament for discussion.

Marriyum said that both former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and incumbent PM Shahid Khaqan Abbassi had a vision for according due status to the journalists. She said the role played by media for strengthening democracy and war against terrorism was very commendable.

She said the PFUJ, media bodies and associations had always fought for the rights of the journalist community at all forums. She said that the representatives of the media organizations kept on changing, which was the beauty of democracy.

She said that Nawaz Sharif was waging a war for the sanctity of vote for the sake of democracy.