Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh has promised to provide family health insurance and respectful and dignified pension for the journalists in the event of Congress forming the government in the state.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, Capt Amarinder said, based on his interaction, suggestions and demands made by the journalists working across the state, particularly those working in small towns and for small news organisations, he has decided that when Congress forms the government in 2017, it will provide health and life insurance cover to them and their families.
This will provide cover for illness and death for all the journalists, alongwith their dependent family members, working with various news organisations including newspapers, magazines, news channels and news portals.
He said, after the age of sixty, all the journalists who have put in 20 years of service while working as journalists will be entitled to family pension which would be substantial and reasonable to sustain their lives.
Capt Amarinder said, the system of registration and accreditation will also be simplified. He said, he was told that right now the system is very tedious and most of the journalists do not get accreditation which entitles them to various benefits provided by the state and central governments.
He said, he was of the firm opinion that all the journalists should be entitled to the accreditation. “Whosoever starts working as a professional journalist or photojournalist should get the accreditation automatically without any screening or any other cumbersome process”, he said.
The PCC president pointed out, an overwhelming majority of the journalists in small towns did not have a guaranteed or assured income post-retirement. He said, while the journalists have always been fighting, writing and working for the rights of others, they themselves remain at a disadvantage.
He said, he will ensure that from 2017 onwards, every journalist after the age of 60 has a regular reasonable income so that he or she does not have to be dependent on others or to compromise on his/her self respect as he knew that the journalists are the most self respecting members of the society and they can never compromise on their self dignity.