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In its unique initiative to woo journalists of the state, Odissa Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik has decided to unveil a health insurance scheme for working journalists, under which policyholders will bear 50% of the premium. Besides health insurance, the government is also mulling over allocation of government quarters to journalists.
Though, the health insurance policy for journalists was announced last year but it has not taken off yet. Now the state information and public relation department have decided to enroll journalists of reputed newspapers and magazines including accredited correspondents. Under the health insurance scheme, journalists would require to bear half of the premium cost along with cost of the smart card necessary for the scheme.
The premium required for the implementation of the health insurance scheme for working journalists would be met from the interest accrued from the corpus fund, meant for journalist’s welfare. However, the government has not decided whether unaccredited journalists of TV channels would be eligible for health insurance or not.
A four member screening committee, under the aegis of special secretary of the general administration department, would be formed to review the procedure of allocation of government quarters to journalists.
So far successive governments have allotted quarters to 91 journalists in Bhubaneshwar who are paying anything between Rs 450-950 monthly as a rent.
Source: This article has been adapted from the article "CM Naveen Patnaik to woo Orissa journalists with health insurance scheme" that appeared on March 27, 2015 in indianexpress.com.