Guwahati: Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Chamling on Friday announced a pension scheme for journalists in the State from the next financial year. Chamling made the announcement while addressing the National Press Day function at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok. All Journalist of the state on reaching sixty years of age will be eligible to receive the pension from the government.
Speaking on the occasion Chamling also said, that the State Government will allocate budget in the upcoming Supplementary Demands for Grants and construct a Press Club Bhawan which has been a long pending demand of journalists in the State.
Responding to grievances from journalists about the delay in payment of bills from concerned Departments, the Chief Minister stated that all pending bills of journalists and publishers concerning display advertisements and other publications should be cleared by all departments by the end of December 2018. He also said that if the departments do not have funds to clear the bills, they can seek funds from the government through supplementary and of grants. The Chief Minister further announced that the pension of Sahitya Academy Awardees in the State would be doubled. He also said that the Government will start paying monthly pension of Rupees ten thousand, Rupees fifteen thousand and Rupees twenty thousand respectively to Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardees from the State.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Shri Chamling stressed the important role of journalists in society. Adding that Sikkim has registered unprecedented growth and development in the last twenty-five years, the CM said that Sikkim today ranks third in the country and first in the North East on overall socio-economic development, however, he cautioned that this should not be taken for granted and calls for intellectual introspection, discussion, and deliberation.
Urging upon the Journalist to keep to strictly follow professional ethics in their work and act responsibly, the CM said, " Journalists are considered the fourth estate in a democracy and hence should function ethically and responsibly. Journalists are the beacons of the society and have the responsibility to behold the truth. It is a great profession and has to be valued and preserved"
The Chief Minister also informed that the 1000 bedded multi-speciality hospital with world class facility will be inaugurated in the month of December. It will be the biggest teaching hospital in the entire North East region. He added that it will be the first Institute in the world where medical education to local students will be provided free of cost. It will require well qualified doctors and paramedical staff with an attitude to serve and a sense of ownership. He further informed that the new Secretariat building will also be inaugurated in the same month. Apart from being a center of administration, it has been built aesthetically to attract tourists, he added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling was felicitated by the Press Club of Sikkim for the recent Future Policy Award conferred on Sikkim by Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome Italy and for his path breaking initiatives.
State IPR Minister Shri A.K. Ghatani highlighted the activities and achievements of the Department and the steps taken towards digitization. He recounted the steps taken by the Government to create an enabling environment for journalists
President, Press Club of Sikkim, Shri Joseph Lepcha expressed his gratitude to the Government for creating a positive environment for journalists to work. He thanked the Chief Minister for initiating steps to incentivise the profession of journalism in the State. Chief Secretary Shri A.K. Shrivastava in his address elaborated on the freedom of the Press, the challenges and issues concerning ethics in journalism and the evolution of journalism in India.
President, Press Club of Sikkim, Shri Joseph Lepcha expressed his gratitude to the Government for creating a positive environment for journalists to work. He thanked the Chief Minister for initiating steps to incentivise the profession of journalism in the State.
A ten-minute talk on the theme ‘Journalistic Ethics and Challenges in Digital Age' was delivered by Dr. Pooja Basnett, Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication, Sikkim University.