IMPHAL, September 16: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi assured maximum help and support to the All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) today.
Speaking at the 41st foundation day celebration of the union at the Manipur Press Club, the Chief Minister said working as a journalist in the present situation of the State is difficult.
The government understands the responsibilities and difficulties of the media persons, he said before adding that it is to provide some support to AMWJU that the government is providing pension facilities for the media persons.
The celebration was attended by Works minister Dr Kh Ratankumar as the guest of honour and AMWJU president Shamjai Wangkhemcha as the president.
During a recent sitting, the cabinet had also approved to increase the pension amount for retired journalists of the State through the Department of Information and Public Relation, he said.
However, the increment is yet to be actualised due to file processing in the department, he said.
The Chief Minister said the DIPR is a small department but the government is discussing its upgradation to make it a major department.
Once it is finalised, the nomenclature of the ranks of the department will be made similar with other major departments, the Chief Minister expressed.
Further continuing with his speech, Ibobi asserted his government is planning to set up a press academy at Lamphel for which the settlement department has already identified the site.
The State government is always ready to provide any help for the development of AMWJU, Ibobi asserted.
Shamjai Wangkhemcha in his speech highlighted the dedication and hard work of the 21 founder members of the journalists union of the State and said their dedication has made it possible for the union to celebrate its 41st foundation day today.
AMWJU has today around 500 members including those whose membership is in process, he observed.
Six senior journalists of the State are presently receiving pension amount of Rs 4000 per month from the DIPR he said adding that the department also provides a widow pension of Rs 200 per month.
Shamjai said with the full support of the State Chief Minister, AMWJU will be hosting a five-day long All India Journalist Seminar in Imphal from November 22.
AMWJU has also been working hard to implement the Majithia Wage Board recommendations in the State as has been directed by the Supreme Court of India he continued.
AMWJU will be soon holding talks with the Labour department and media house proprietors on this issue, however, if members seek their employment through the contract basis, the union would not be able to help much, he said.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, AMWJU is seeking their original appointment letters from its members and those applying for membership he continued.
Delivering the key note address of the celebration, general secretary GA Naocha Sharma said AMWJU has been working for the welfare of the media fraternity inclusive of both the field and desk workers.
AMWJU will have its own logo soon, he said.
Senior and retired members of the union and widows of late journalists were honoured by the union during the celebration.