The Rs.2,000-a-month scheme will be effective from April 1, 2006

The West Bengal government on Wednesday announced a pension scheme for accredited news correspondents.

Finance Minister Asim Kumar Dasgupta said the retired journalists would get Rs. 2,000 a month and the scheme would be effective from April 1, 2006. As a special gesture, journalists who retired since April 1981 too would be covered. “Accredited district correspondents too will be covered under this scheme for which a provision of Rs.36 lakh has been earmarked for this year,” he said.

On the apprehensions in various quarters about the State's financial condition, he said it had improved and his department was considering withdrawal of the restrictions imposed on spending last year. Faced with fiscal problems, attributed to the non-receipt of its Central dues in November last, the government announced its decision to issue an ordinance to raise tax rates mid-term.