Aizawl: In a significant development, the Mizoram Council of Ministers, during a meeting held on Wednesday, approved a much-anticipated pension scheme for journalists. This long-standing demand, championed by the Mizoram Journalists Association (MJA), was brought to the table by Information and Public Relations Minister Lalruatkima.
During the meeting, the Mizoram Journalists’ Pension Scheme 2023 was passed unanimously, marking a milestone for the state’s journalistic community. Lalruatkima highlighted that the demand for such a scheme had persisted for over five years, emphasising that neighboring states like Assam, Tripura, and Manipur had already implemented similar provisions for journalists. Furthermore, he pointed out that many other states across India had already instituted such pension schemes.
In Assam and Tripura, Lalruatkima noted, journalists receive a monthly pension of Rs. 10,000. The MJA had taken proactive steps in 2019 and 2021 by submitting draft guidelines for the pension scheme, which underwent thorough examination and received valuable suggestions from a study team. These suggestions were diligently discussed, leading to the finalisation and formal introduction of the scheme during the Council of Ministers meeting.
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The Mizoram Journalists’ Pension Scheme 2023 will apply to MJA members with over 30 years of service and who have reached the age of 60. Such individuals will be eligible for a monthly pension of Rs. 8,500. In the unfortunate event of their demise, the pension will not be transferable to family members. However, if they encounter serious illnesses like cancer, heart surgery, or organ transplantation before reaching the age of 60, they can access this pension.
Recipients of this pension will not be permitted to avail of any other form of pension, and they must be retired from their journalistic work to qualify. Presently, among the 187 journalists in the state, 23 are eligible. However, since they are continuing their professional activities and have access to other facilities, it is expected that only around 4-5 journalists will seek this pension at the moment.
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