At a time when the outbreak of Coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the globe, each step that helps states respond to the pandemic counts. The government deciding to acknowledge the work being done by media houses is indeed a step in the right direction. The media industry has continued to work and provide information in times of a national crisis. Since the government assumed power, media dues have become a controversial issue due to the funds not being released. However, the outbreak has prompted a rethink and a favourable response from the authorities in the province of Punjab, who have now decided to announce tax exemptions and clearance of pending dues for media houses.

While ensuring that words are put into action, the government should also be directly in touch with the respective administration of media houses to ensure that this sum reaches the many employees who have not been paid salaries despite showing up for work every day. For the future, a mechanism should be put in place to ensure that no needless delay in payments occurs again. Media persons working long hours irrespective of the threats posed to their lives is a feat deserving appreciation. Those in charge of this initiative should consider establishing helplines for concerned persons, who do not receive their salary despite provision of funds by the government. The media’s regular role of keeping people informed and acting as a bridge between the people and their government becomes all the more crucial during turbulent times.

The government should work towards identifying other possible sectors of the economy that could benefit from similar tax exemptions and other favourable policies. The primary concern of the country at this point is the welfare of its people, and that would require more incentives for local businesses that continue to suffer.