CM vows monetary aid to ‘victim’ scribes

IMPHAL, 1st Jun: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has announced payment of an amount of Rs 5 to 10 lakh as ex-gratia/compensation to media persons who succumb to COVID-19 in the line of duty.
The announcement was made when representatives of both Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) called on the Chief Minister on Monday to discuss the distress media houses in Manipur are facing owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a joint statement of EGM and AMWJU, the media team raised the issue of journalists who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 while covering news during the pandemic as well as the pressure on the media houses to keep their offices running.
EGM and AMWJU drew the attention of the Chief Minister to various packages announced by other states for journalists and also closing or downsizing of many national media houses in India because of the pandemic.
“In Manipur we have kept the media running, albeit with reduced page numbers, after understanding the need of an active media in combating the COVID-19,” the team apprised the Chief Minister.
Chief Minister after listening to the joint team assured an ex-gratia for any media person who succumbs to COVID-19. He also said similar scheme for other frontline warriors like the police and others including the media will be introduced after putting up a proposal in a cabinet meeting.
Further, CM Biren directed chief secretary Suresh Babu, who was also present at the meeting, to clear all pending advertising bills owed to various government departments to ease the financial stress of the media houses of Manipur. EGM and AMWJU members thanked the Chief Minister for recognizing the contribution of the media in fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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