Bhubaneswar: Over 3000 journalists working in Odisha would come under cover of health insurance scheme from tomorrow(June 1, 2018).

The chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, Thursday accorded his approval for the implementation of Gopabandhu Samabadika Swasthya Bima Yoyana, a health insurance cover for working jounalists and their family members with effect from June 1.

A total of 3,233 journalists would get the benefit of the scheme in the first phase.

“Under the scheme, a working journalist and five members of his/her family will be covered for Rs 2 lakh”, said an I & PR senior official. According to him, health insurance cards will be issued to concerned journalists by the DIPRO(district information and public relations officer).

In November 2016, the then I & PR minister Bikram Keshari Arukha had announced that all the scribes covered under the Odisha State Working Journalists’ Health Insurance Scheme-2016 will have to shell out 25 per cent of the annual premium to avail the benefits. The rest of the premium will be borne by the state government. However, following demands from journalist trade union leaders like Bibhuti Bhusan Kar and Surendra Sahu, the government waived off the journalists contribution of 25% of the premium. The state government, now, bears the whole premium cost of the health insurance scheme.