Journalists today hailed the Maharashtra government’s move to start a monthly pension scheme for them.
The state government had yesterday made a provision of Rs 15 crore in the state Budget, through a supplementary demand, for a monthly pension scheme for retired journalists.
According to the provisions of the state’s pension scheme, any journalist above the age of 60 and who has put in 20 years of professional service would be eligible for a monthly pension.
The Mumbai Press Club (MPC) thanked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar for the announcement.
Issuing a statement, the MPC said that the Maharashtra State Accreditation Committee and Mumbai Divisional Accreditation Committee, along with Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh (MVVS), had been working with the government to get the scheme prepared and implemented.
Welcoming it, MVVS president Dilip Sapate said, “It was a long pending demand of journalists and several states were already offering such a scheme. It is not a pension but rather a patrakar sanman yojana.”
He added that the pension amount should be Rs 10,000 per month, a figure that the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) had recommended as well.
The Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh (MPPS), a 77-year-old journalists’ body also welcomed the move. The MPPS had recently started a pension scheme of its own in which members, who were over 65 years old, were eligible for a monthly pension of Rs 1,200.
Narendra Wable, president, MMPS, said, “This better late than never initiative is appreciable. The government should implement it with an open heart and the pension must not be less that 20,000 per month. It should ensure that every needy and elderly journalist gets the benefit of this scheme.”
Marathi Patrakar Parishad also praised the scheme and added that it had been striving for its implementation for the past 21 years.
Its senior functionary S M Deshmukh said that the scheme would help those journalists who need such a pension in the later stages of their lives.