Odisha Assembly: Cong Leader Narasingha Mishra Demands Pension For Journalists, Free Entry Into Lok Seva Bhawan

Bhubaneswar: Problems of journalists were raised in the Odisha Assembly by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra on Thursday.

Raising the issue in the House during zero hour, Mishra urged the state government to take steps for restoration of rights of working journalists to enter Lok Seva Bhawan, the state secretariat, in Bhubaneswar to cover different events.

Noting that journalists are being denied entry into the state secretariat for a long time, he said the state government should take steps for issuing entry pass to journalists to enable them to get into Lok Seva Bhavan for collection of news and coverage of events. This will be in the greater interest of public, he said.

The senior Congress legislator also demanded pension provision for journalists in the state.
Stating that journalists are getting pension in several other states, Mishra said no such facility is being provided in Odisha. Therefore, the state government should take immediate steps for providing pension to journalists, he said.

The issue was raised in the Assembly a day after a large number of journalists staged a demonstration near the state Assembly in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday to press for their six-point charter of demands.

Apart from pension for senior journalists, the demands include inclusion of parents and dependent children aged above 25 years in the health insurance scheme.

The journalists also demanded formation of a media academy, reconstitution of accreditation committee and facility for entry into Lok Sabha Bhawan and other government offices in the state.

It may be noted here that journalists were debarred from visiting Lok Seva Bhawan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the pandemic situation no longer prevails, the ban on journalists is still in force.

Apart from journalists, leaders of Congress and BJP have been raising the issue inside and outside the the Assembly time and again.

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