BHUBANESWAR: Cutting across party lines, Assembly members on Wednesday demanded fulfilment of various demands of working journalists in the State.
Raising the issue during zero hour, BJD member Samir Ranjan Dash urged the Government to take immediate steps for launching pension and health insurance schemes for journalists working in the State.
Dash was supported by his party colleagues Amar Prasad Satpathy, Prafulla Samal, Pravat Biswal, Sanjeev Sahu, Dibya Sankar Mishra, Ramesh Chandra Chayupatnaik, Mahesh Sahoo and Priyadarshi Mishra.
“It is unfortunate that the State Government is yet to identify and give recognition to journalists. They are not being given minimum facilities like pension and health insurance for their social security,” said Samal.
The ruling party members stated that about a dozen of States have already implemented pension and health insurance schemes for journalists and Odisha should not lag behind.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said though Chief Naveen Patnaik had assured to bring a policy for welfare of journalists in 2013, he has failed to keep his promise.
While newly created States like Telangana and Chhattisgarh have already announced pension and health insurance for scribes, the State Government has failed to meet the basic requirements of journalists, he added.
BJP members Pradip Purohit and Rabinarayan Naik criticised the State government for not implementing schemes for scribes and also wanted to know about the recommendations of a committee headed by Chief Secretary on welfare of journalists in the State.
The Congress MLA urged the Speaker to give a direction to the Government to fulfill the genuine demands of journalists.