In a bid to boost journalism in the state, the Tripura government has increased the pension for journalists from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000. The decision was taken after a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
All working journalists above 60 years of age would be eligible for the new pension scheme, as per Ratan Lal Nath, the Tripura Law and Education Minister. "The cabinet increased the journalists' monthly pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. The monthly pension of Rs 10,000 is second highest in India after Tamil Nadu," he told the media on Thursday night.
In 2012, the previous Left Front government headed by Manik Sarkar introduce the Rs. 1,000 pension scheme for working journalists.
Various journalist bodies including Agartala Press Club, Tripura Journalists Union and Tripura Working Journalists Association thanked the BJP government for increasing the rate of monthly pension.
Earlier this month, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik introduced several measures to woo more journalists to the state. Incentives included an Rs. 4 lakh death benefit, 2 lakh Rupees as an aid in case of permanent disability and loans for two and four wheelers. The government also promised an Rs. 25 lakh loan for housing, and financial assistance for children in school (Rs. 1,500) and those pursuing higher education (Rs. 2,500).
The Odisha state government also introduced an annual health coverage of Rs. 2 lakh for journalists. Other states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and Haryana also have pension schemes for journalists.
Yesterday, Kashmiri journalist Shujat Bhukhari was shot by militants on a bike, as attacks on journalists in the country continue to escalate. In 2017, Gauri Lankesh the editor of a popular paper in Bengaluru was shot and killed in her home. One of the perpetrators has been arrested, and the investigation is ongoing.
[With inputs from IANS]