Imphal, Jun1 : Chief Minister N Biren Singh today assured Rs 5 to 10 lakhs ex gratia for media persons who contracted COVID-19 while performing their duties and succumbed to the disease.
The announcement came following a representation from Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) and All Manipur working Journalist (AMWJU), who called on him today to discuss the difficulties media houses in Manipur were going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team told the chief minister that the media employees were under a constant threat of contracting the coronavirus infection while covering news, and the problems the media houses were facing in continuing operations amid the pandemic.
EGM and AMWJU drew the CM's attention to various packages announced by other states for journalists, and also the closing or downsizing of many national media houses in India because of the Covid-19 situation. "In Manipur all newspapers are running, albeit with reduced page numbers, after understanding the need of an active media in combating the COVID-19 pandemic," the team told the Chief Minister. Chief Minister N Biren Singh assured ex gratia for any media person who succumbed to COVID -19 after listening to the team.
He said other frontline warriors like the police and the health workers among others will be covered by a similar scheme after approval in a Cabinet meeting. He also directed the Chief Secretary Suresh Babu, who was also present at the meeting, to clear all pending advertising bills owed by various government departments to ease the financial stress on the media houses of Manipur. Member of Editors' Guild Manipur and All Manipur Working Journalists Union thanked the Chief Minister for recognizing the contribution of the media in fighting the COVID -19 pandemic. (UNI)