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Tripura journalists meets ICA minister, suggests policy to adopt pay structure for scribes

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Agartala: An interactive session hosted by new information and cultural affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury to invite suggestions from journalists, editors, proprietors of media organisations witnessed some key issues raised by senior journalists requiring urgent attention. 

Chowdhury as a new minister handled the situation quite skillfully and gave a patient hearing to the journalists, editors, owners representing all kinds of media houses including TV, leading dailies, weekly newspapers and digital news platforms. 

Some key issues that were discussed in the meeting ranged from the government’s efforts towards development of quality journalism as well as initiatives deserved to be taken at the level of media organisations for ensuring financial and social security to be extended to the journalists. Chowdhury opened the interactive session to the participants and requested everyone to share their thoughts. 

Senior Journalist and Editor Satya Bhasan Nabendu Bhattacharya heavily stressed on the need of a tripartite approach of owners, journalists and the government to ensure social security of the journalists. Bhattacharjee’s statement came when many editors highlighted the point of a transparent advertisement policy. 

He said, “There is no pay structure for the journalists in Tripura. Let’s adopt one. Let’s fix the target at a minimal stage but it will be a trendsetter. And, for this all the stakeholders, the owners, the journalists and the government have to take steps. 

Fulfilling all demands is quite a difficult task but after this government came to power many issues had already been resolved”, said Bhattacharjee citing the instance of increase in journalist pension amount.

Suggestions for framing a fresh media policy and enactment of law for journalists’ protection were also given. 

President of Tripura Working Journalists’ Association Dibakar Debnath laid emphasis on streamlining the accreditation policy making police verification mandatory for the journalists who will get an accreditation card. 

“The background check is necessary to understand whether the given status would be misused or not”, he added. 

Veteran journalist Jayanta Bhattacharjee on the other hand, raised the point of rational use of the press sticker and introduction of government sponsored training programs for journalists. 

The Minster, however, hearing all the points said that “it will be a level playing game for all” and he would try to work upon the raised points.

“I will hold such interactive sessions on regular intervals to review the tasks I am here to complete”, the minister added.

Secretary PK Goyal and Director Ratan Biswas were also present. During his speech secretary Goyal said that very soon the special insurance drive for journalists will be launched.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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