KARACHI: As the ongoing crisis Pakistani media industry is faced with is getting worse with each passing day, the Samaa TV channel’s management has resorted to cost-cutting measures, announcing to abolish employees’ gratuity of provident fund.
Samaa TV is regarded as one of the best employers of the Pakistani media industry by the working journalists. The TV channel has the worthy record of paying salaries to its employees before of the running month before its end.
The channel is also one of the rare outlets of Pakistani electronic media industry, which offers provident funds, gratuity, full health insurance for the employee and family, besides parents.
However, the ongoing crisis has also impacted one of the best employers of the media industry, compelling it to resort to cost cutting.
Due to the ongoing crisis, many TV channels such as Waqt TV, Kohe-e-Noor TV and other small outlets have seized their operations, rendering thousands of working journalists and media workers as jobless.
Recently, the Jang Group has also shut down its six publications, while in Geo News salaries to the employees are being paid two to three moths late.
Express Group has also laid off score of working journalists and workers citing financial crunch due to the ongoing crisis.
Other media outlets especially private TV channels including Dunya TV, Neo TV and other have placed a 10 to 35 percent cut on employees’ salaries across the board.
In such a depressing situation, the latest decision of Samaa TV management, has sent shock waves among the working journalists and media workers.
A worried working journalist while commenting on the situation remarked: “Samaa TV is regarded as a safe island in the prevailing financial crisis the media industry is facing with. The working journalists hail Samaa as one of the best employer of the industry with above market average perks and privileges. If Samaa is resorting to cost-cutting, then the severity of the current crisis can be imagined and gauged from it.”
An employee of Samaa TV said that the TV channel has been one of the best employers. It has been paying salaries to its employee before the end of the month even during crisis situations in the past when the largest and well-established media groups failed to pay their employees’ salaries on time.
He said the latest situation is worrisome and there is unrest and anxiety among Samaa employees after the latest decision.
The letter the Samaa TV management has sent to all its employee states:
“In view of the deteriorating market conditions resulting in the adverse impact on the company’s revenues, the Management has been forced to take cost cutting measures in order to keep the channel running. The following measures are, however being implemented with immediate effect.
- Provident Fund
It has been decided to terminate the contributory provident fund scheme with effect from December 31, 2018. Consiquently, no recovery towards Provident Fund will be made from Staff Salaries, which will result in 5 percent (of basic pay) increase in the take home pay of respective employees. The provident fund balances standing to the credit of all members of Fund will be settled immediately on finalization of Funds Accounts latest by Februaury 28, 2019.
The employees gratuity scheme is also being discontinued with effect from December 31, 2018. The amount of the Gratuity entitlement as on December 31, 2018 will be confirmed to each employee. The amount will be paid at the time of leaving the service of the company to respective employees.
The services of all emplpyees will be cinverted on contract baus effective January 01, 2019. Paper work in this connection will be processed shortly.”