Imphal: State information and public relations minister Thongam Biswajit Singh on Wednesday handed out pension books to 57 journalists approved by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, at the 46th Foundation Day celebration of Manipur Press Club in Imphal.
The 57 pension books were handed over to the General Secretary of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union during a function at the press club.
Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Minister Biswajit said that democracy has three pillars, but the media is considered the fourth pillar.
The minister further stated that as Chief Minister N Biren Singh was also from the media fraternity in the past and he understands the value and importance of the media fraternity. He said that the Manipur State Journalists’ Welfare Scheme is an encouragement for the fraternity. The IPR minister also said that recently, the pension amount for journalists was increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 8,000, and family pension from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, respectively.
Further speaking on the issue of some media persons (above 45 years of age) being left out from the pension scheme, the Minister also assured to look into the issue. It may be mentioned that at present, the pension is provided to media persons recognised by DIPR between the age of 18-45 years.
Agriculture, veterinary and tourism minister Oinam Lukhoi Singh, who was the guest of honour, said the media acts as the eyes and ears of the public and highlights grievances of the people.
The minister also highlighted the importance of unbiased reporting and said every reporter should abide by media ethics and be neutral.
In his speech, education minister Sorokhaibam Rajen Singh said that the media acts as a bridge between the government and the public.
The function was also attended by Commissioner IPR M Joy Singh, Director IPR H Balkrisna Singh, Editor’s Guild Manipur president Khogendra Khomdram, All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union president Bijoy Kakchingtabam among others.