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Pension scheme for Odisha journalists in offing

Bhubaneswar, June 8, 2018: A day after the State Government announced a series of sops for working journalists, including a one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the family in case of death of media person, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday assured a delegation of journalists of implementation of pension scheme for them.

“I will certainly look into the demand for pension scheme,” said the CM while responding to a memorandum submitted to him by a 30-member delegation of Odisha Union of Journalists (OUJ) led by its president Prasanna Kumar Mohanty.

The Chief Minister said that the State Government is fully committed towards the welfare of journalists in the State and their families.

The first-of-its-kind sops which were announced on Thursday are likely to benefit more than 5,000 journalists and their family members. The announcement comes months ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

As per the announcement of the State Government, working journalists will now get a one-time financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh in case of permanent incapacitation while education assistance will also be provided to children of deceased working journalists at Rs 1,500 per month till Class-X and Rs 2,500 per month for higher studies.

In addition to the recently implemented Gopabandhu Health Insurance Scheme under which working journalist can get Rs 2 lakh annual help, the Government also announced an additional assistance of critical illness where expenditure exceeds Rs 2 lakh under the health scheme. The  additional amount will be provided following an approval by the State Directorate of Medical Education and Training.

Further, three per cent interest subvention of up to Rs 25 lakh house building loans and also for four wheeler loan up to Rs 4 lakh and Rs 50,000 for two wheeler loans will be provided by the State Government annually after repayment of regular installments with interest by the loanee journalists.

Training programme having a duration staring three days to two weeks for 25-35 journalists will be provided within the State institutes like IIMC and the Government will bear the training costs upto Rs 10,000 for five years.

The financial benefits will be provided from the Odisha Working Journalist Welfare Fund under which Rs 5 crore is earmarked every year. 

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