Mandi, Sep 20 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today announced more sops to the ex-servicemen and their wards in the State.
Addressing a state-level Ex-Servicemen Rally here, Mr Singh announced an enhancement in the monthly pension of war veterans, who were not drawing any pensionary benefits, from Rs 200 to Rs 500, while a family having all its sons in the armed forces and availing War Jagir of Rs 900 per annum will now get Rs 1500.
The Seva Medal Winners who were getting Rs 3,000 annually would now be eligible to draw Rs 20,000, while the soldiers mentioned in dispatches would be getting enhanced annual grant of Rs 10,000 instead of Rs 3,000 at present, he said.
The Chief Minister reiterated the resolve of his government to protect the interests of the serving, ex-servicemen and their wards and provide them maximum benefits in the shape of financial assistance, employment, self-employment and other income generating avenues to help them lead better and economically secure life in the society.
Mr Singh said Himachal Pradesh happened to be a State which had highest percentage of serving and ex-servicemen in the country. He said that there were 1,21,016 serving and 96,726 ex-servicemen, 1059 war widows, 23,725 other para-military war widows, 3,45,461 dependents of the ex-servicemen, besides, 1,13,215 dependents of the serving soldiers. He said that every 10 serving soldiers are hailing from H.P., which was a matter of pride to the people of the State.
He said with a view to generate employment and self-employment avenues, soft loans which were being made available to the ex-servicemen besides deploying 1350 trucks in cement factories.
He said that State had set up one Eco task force deploying ex-servicemen while it had also taken up the matter of granting one rank, one pension to the ex-servicemen in the State and the matter had been reiterated time and again with the Central Government.
He said State Government had enhanced the marriage grant of war-widows to Rs 15,000 while 3780 ex-servicemen's widows were being given Rs 200 monthly pension while, 2120 ex-servicemen were provided War-Jagir of Rs 900 per annum.
He said that soldiers injured in action were also being provided financial grant of Rs 50,000 while the dependents of the soldiers killed in action were being given grant of Rs one lakh and similar formula were being adopted in case of para-military personnel as well.