Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced to give a grant of another Tk 10 crore to the Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust (BJWT), constituted by the Awami League government to provide financial support to media people during their needs.
The premier made the announcement at the Representative Conference-2023 of BFUJ-Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists at the National Press Club in the city on Thursday, reports BSS.
“As I’ve established it (BJWT) and come here this time again, I will give a grant of another Taka 10 crore to the BJWT,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that she gave a seed money when she constituted the BJWT for the betterment of the country’s journalists.
Mentioning that many affluent people were supposed to give money to the BJWT, but only a few of them did so, she said, “I know who have given.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina initiated the trust fund in 2014 by giving seed money of Tk 5 crore. Later, she gave more grants at different times.
During her speech at BFUJ representative conference, she also said that the Awami League government has prioritised the welfare of journalists.
She added: “We’ve formulated the ‘Journalist Support Allowance and Grant Policy-2012’ and the ‘Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust Act-2014’ to institutionalise the journalist support program.”
She said a board of trustees has been formed under this act.
In October 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina donated Tk 20 crore to Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust.
From the fiscal year (FY) 2015-2016 to June 2023, Sheikh Hasina said, a total of Tk 29,81,50,000 has been distributed as welfare grant to 3,433 journalists and journalist families.
In addition, in the first phase of the Covid-19 period, BJWT distributed Tk 3.35 crore among the affected 3,350 journalists across the country in the FY 2019-2020, she said.
In the second phase, in the FYs 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, the government allocated another Tk 10 crore from BJWT to the journalists affected by Coronavirus, she added.
So far, a total of Tk 6,72,70,000 has been given to a total number of 6,727 journalist affected by Coronavirus where each beneficiary received Tk 10,000 under the Prime Minister’s special financial support.