Minister for Information and Public Relations D.K. Aruna has said that the welfare of journalists is one of the priorities of the government. She promises to initiate steps to ensure friendly relations with the media.

At a ‘Meet the Press' programme organised here on Saturday, the Minister promised to see that the benefits of Arogyasri reached every journalist in the State. There are many complaints on this issue, she added.

“The government has extended this facility to journalists keeping their income in view. There are some problems in the implementation of the scheme,” the Minister said and promised to instruct officials to complete the process of issuing Arogyasri cards to all journalists in the State at the earliest.

She said that the government decided to increase the Journalist Welfare Fund from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore and then to Rs.2 crore. It was mooted to transfer 2 per cent of money spent on government advertisements to the welfare fund. This, however, should be discussed with the newspaper managements, she added.

Ms. Aruna said that the issues pertaining to provision of vehicles to all DPROs, increasing the number of accreditations to journalists from the electronic media in districts, and house sites would be settled at the district level.

MLA Rowthu Suryaprakasha Rao, Vizag West MLA Vijaya Prasad, Press Club president T. Ramnarayana, and secretary S. Rambabu participated.