Information Minister Hasan Mahmud yesterday said government aid is available for all destitute journalists, even those who criticise the government.
"The state is for everyone. If the journalists, who criticise the Awami League-government, fall in the destitute category and come under our policy, this aid is open for them too. We've implemented it," said the minister.
He said this at a cheque distribution event at the Press Institute of Bangladesh in the capital.
A total of 200 journalists and their families were given Tk 2 crore 8 lakh and 50 thousand in 2020-21 fiscal from Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust (BJWT).
The minister handed over cheques to 30 journalists and their families, said a press release.
Hasan Mahmud said, "The journalist-friendly Awami League government has ensured freedom [of the media] and its development."
"The media of Bangladesh enjoy unlimited freedom, which is unprecedented for a developing country. But it is necessary for the sake of the country, society's multidimensional progress and development. We're working with this belief," he said.
He requested the persons concerned to distribute the special allocation of Tk 2 crore for journalists during the pandemic.
Regarding BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's treatment, the minister said she was the country's prime minister and a senior politician. "I wish her early recovery," he said.
Replying to a question, he said the treatment for coronavirus is similar all over the world.
"The treatment facility of our country is far better. I don't understand the reason for taking her abroad for treatment," he said.
Among others, state minister for Information Murad Hasan and secretary to the ministry Khaja Miah spoke at the programme.
BJWT managing director Zafar Wazed presided over the event.