GUWAHATI: Assam Government has proposed an insurance scheme for journalists and their families in the budget for 2018-19.
Presenting the budget in the assembly yesterday, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "I have earmarked a budgetary allocation of Rs 63 crore in 2018-19 for the (Information and Public Relations) Department (that would implement schemes for journalists).
"With a view to ensure security and protection of the journalists, their families, I propose to introduce a new scheme Journalist Insurance Scheme," Sarma said.
The minister said he has made necessary provision for media fellowship for pursuing higher studies in journalism so that 20 media persons can be selected for it at the rate of Rs 50,000 each.
"As a token of appreciation of the work being done by the Media Trust, I propose to give a one-time grant of Rs 10 lakh to the Trust," he had said.
The government has also extended one-time ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of 31 journalists of the state who have lost their lives or have been declared missing while on duty, Sarma said.
"Further, as promised in my speech last year, the Pension Scheme for Journalists has been introduced to provide retirement benefits to journalists working for more than 20 years in Assam.
We have already distributed individual pensions of Rs 8000 per month to many respected journalists," he said.