Journos to protest before Nirman Bhawan demanding CGHS facility

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New Delhi, Jun 20 (UNI) Demanding a revival of the CGHS scheme for the Press Information Bureau (PIB) accredited Journalists, the Press Association today warned that the scribes would protest in front of Nirman Bhawan on June 25 and 26.

''Two decades ago, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had taken the lead in introducing a scheme under which Press Information Bureau(PIB) accredited journalists and their families were brought under the ambit of medical facilities scheme extended by Central Government Health Scheme(CGHS), President of Press Association Jai Shankar Gupta told reporters here.

Now, despite a Congress-led government in the Centre since last four years, the scheme has not only been discontinued but the government has been misleading journalists about its revival, he said.

Mr Gupta said earlier, Rs 300 were charged yearly from a journalist for the renewal of CGHS cards.

''From the last two years, the renewal charges increased from Rs 300 to Rs 600 a year but still the family members of the journalists are being neglected under the scheme,'' he added.

The journalists and the concerned association had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss to revive the scheme, Mr Gupta said.

When the journalists met the PM on the issue on May 22, the PM instructed the MOS in the PMO, Prithvi Raj Chavan to look into the matter and do the needful.

But till the moment there has been no visible impact, despite their assurance,'' said Mr Gupta.

He said the Press Association had decided that the first question asked in the Cabinet meeting by all the journalists would be whether any CGHS facility would be granted to the journalists and their family members and no other question would be asked unless and until they replied.

The journalists would protest in front of Nirman Bhawan on June 25 and June 26, he said.

''If all this results in nothing within one week, then the journalists will boycott the respected Ministry and not a single page should be printed on the newspaper in regard to the Cabinet.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pushpendra Kulshrestha of the Press Club of India said the Press Club was with the Press Association.

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