Parliament yesterday passed the Bangladesh Journalists' Welfare Trust Bill 2014 to ensure welfare of the insolvent, wounded and sick journalists and dependants of the deceased ones.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu piloted the bill before the Jatiya Sangsad for its passage.
A 13-member board of trustee with the information minister as its chairman and information secretary as its vice-chairman will be formed under the law. The government will appoint its managing director who will also act as the member secretary of the board.
Other members of the board are principal information officer, a director general level officer to be nominated by the Prime Minister's Office, a finance division officer with the rank and status of not below a joint secretary, director general of Bangladesh Press Institute, joint secretary (press) of the information ministry, two representatives from Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and three other journalists to be nominated by the government.
The trustee board would provide financial support to the insolvent, poor, sick and wounded journalists, arrange treatment of journalists and implement projects for their welfare.
It would also give stipends to those journalists having contributions in journalism, and award stipends to the meritorious children of journalists.
The government will create a permanent fund for the trust and will also mobilise funds from the local authorities like city corporations, private organisations, individuals and foreign donors.
A permanent fund and a current fund will be created from the trust fund.
The government will formulate rules for the trust while the trust could formulate its regulations taking government's approval.