R&R corpus for ex-servicemen enhanced in HP

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Shimla, Sep 25 (UNI) The Relief and Rehabilitation Corpus for Himachal Pradesh ex-servicemen has been doubled to Rs five crore from Rs 2.50 crore, enhanced ''Yudh Jagir'' annuity to Rs 5,000 from Rs !,500 and distress grant to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000.

A decision to this effect was taken at the 21st meeting of the State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Board and 39th Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Meeting of the ex-servicemen held here under the chairmanship of Governor V S Kokje and attended by state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The R&R Corpus for ex-servicemen had been enhanced to Rs five crore to carry out relief and rehabilitation activities more extensively, enhanced ''Yudh Jagir'' annuity to Rs 5,000 for the families of soldiers who served the nation during emergencies, besides enhancing distress grant to Rs 5,000.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor reiterated the state government's resolve in protecting the country's fronts and lending cooperative hand in the hour of distress and natural calamities.

In proportion to the state's population, it had the highest percentage of soldiers in the armed forces, he said.

Mr Kokje said the state government was implementing a number of schemes for the welfare of the serving defence personnel, ex-servicemen and their wards to help them lead a socially and economically better life.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said his government would consider granting graduation degrees to the soldiers who had completed 15 years of active service and had passed certain internal Army examinations.

Referring to several schemes being launched by the state government for the welfare of the ex-servicemen, he said besides provided scholarship to their wards from sixth standard onwards for pursuing professional sources, the government had also reserved 15 per cent seats in government jobs.

Mr Singh announced an annual grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for the maintenance and upkeep of the Martyrs Memorial at Dharamshala and said the Government would grant funds for the repair and maintenance of the Sainik Rest Houses in the state.

UNI

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