Pension Scheme for Journalists in Maharashtra
After Bihar it is Maharashtra that is soon coming with a pension scheme for the journalists.
Expected Key Features of the Pension Scheme
- According to the announcement, the scheme might come with a pension scheme similar to the other states. At present, Rs. 5000 per month is being given to the journalists in states like Bihar. It is expected that a similar figure shall be decided for the journalists of the Maharastra state as well.
- This scheme is entirely sponsored by the state government and therefore the regulations are likely to be the same. Earlier Bihar government asked for certification which was very difficult to obtain. Maharashtra government might walk the same path and not ask for such certification, although a mandatory verification shall be performed.
- A corpus fund will be allocated for the journalists and at the end of the year the same shall be distributed among the journalists as an annual pension amount.
- All the state journalists working in the print and electronic media in the state shall be covered under this scheme. They would also be covered under the ‘working journalists’ benefit.
State Already Joint the Pension Scheme for Journalists
There was a draft Bill on the protection of journalists – the bill asked that journalists be given protection. The Maharashtra cabinet gave their approval on the same. At the same time, Sanjay Dutt demanded that since states like Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and more are giving pensions to journalists, why Maharashtra cannot do the same. Keeping in line with this thought, the government agreed to provide the same to the journalists.
The state government has just accepted to this new idea. They are in motion and are setting up their funding. The exact amount of funding required to cover each of the journalists is yet to be known. Firstly they will have to decide the amount of pension to be granted, only then can the amount of funds required be disclosed. However, for now, it is clear that the funding shall be initiated from the State government’s reserve itself.
Expected Implementation Date
The government has been given a strict deadline. By the end of the monsoon session of the legislature this scheme has to be implemented. Hence, we can assume that the final date will be close to the end of the session. It can come any time in the next 2-3 months. However, the exact date is not known yet. Devendra Fadnis told the legislative Council that the state government shall soon be coming up with this plan. However, the exact date of public announcement was not revealed. They will come up with more information only after deciding the funding details.However, he mentioned that the state government is studying the process other states have followed for the same.
The CM also said that the media is the fourth pillar of the constituency. Hence, they shall be given their right. He also mentioned it is essential to have a critical opinion to move the administrative system forward. Therefore, the journalists and their work require recognition via the government.