IMPHAL : The mandatory tripartite committee comprising of working journalists, publishers and Government representatives has already been formed and the State Government is fully committed to implement the Justice Majithia Wage Board in the State, said Chief Minister Okram Ibobi while speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day National executive meeting of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) at the banquet hall of 1st Manipur Rifles today.
All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) hosted the meeting for the first time in the State after the union got affiliation from IJU last year. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, IJU President SN Sinha, Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai, IJU General Secretary Devulanalli Amar and AMWJU President Wangkhemcha Shamjai attended the function as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.
In his speech, the Chief Minister said that the mandatory tripartite committee to implement the recommendations of Justice Majithia Wage Board has already been constituted and the State Government is fully committed to implement the recommendations in the State.
Saying that the committee would classify the journalists to develop a foolproof action plan for them, the Chief Minister said that formation of the committee has already been notified in the State Gazette. Congratulating AMWJU on getting affiliation from IJU and hosting a National executive meeting in the State, the Chief Minister said that IJU, which came into being in 1989, has now more than 23,000 members.
IJU members are well represented in various Central and State Government institutions like Press Information Bureau (PIB), Press Accreditation Committee and Press Council of India (PCI), which stand for safeguarding the freedom of press and protection of the rights of journalists. Thanking IJU for allowing the journalists of the State to be a part of the journalist fraternity of the country by giving affiliation to AMWJU, Okram Ibobi said that this consent would enhance the social and cultural integrity between Manipur and the rest of the country.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government has hiked the grant for journalists pension fund from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to facilitate proper implementation of the pension scheme. Despite weak financial position, the State Government has also given its nod to set up a Press Club Academy to train the aspiring journalists and raise the standard of journalism, he added.
Saying that the State Government has been extending assistance to journalists through their corpus fund at the time of emergency, Okram Ibobi also urged AMWJU to suggest to the Government if the union wishes to take up any other welfare schemes for the journalists. Ibobi added that he had also directed the authority concerned to study every available points which can be adopted by the Government regarding the welfare of journalists. He added that the State Government has also agreed in principle to establish a Press Housing Colony.
Contending that Manipur is a gateway to southeast Asian countries, Ibobi also urged the visiting journalists to witness the rich cultural heritage of the State at the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival. He also expressed hope that Manipur would play a vital role in the successful enforcement of India’s Look East Policy.
Addressing the function, SN Sinha said that IJU is holding its National executive meeting in the North East region for the third time with Sikkim and Assam being the other States which had hosted the previous meetings. The IJU president said that 150 journalists from 20 different States are taking part in the meeting.
Highlighting various challenges being faced by the media in the State, Wangkhemcha Shamjai said that many journalists have died while many others have been injured in the line of duty. He added that AMWJU is putting in efforts to implement the recommendations of Justice Majithia Wage Board to enhance the working condition of journalists in the State.
साभार- The Sangai Express