HP government increases wages of daily employees, pension

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Shimla, Jan 1 (UNI) Continuing with its ''populist announcements'', the new BJP government in Himachal Pradesh today increased the social security pension from the existing Rs 200 to Rs 300 and the wages of daily worker from Rs 75 Rs 100.

''The government has decided to increase the pension of the elderly and the widows to Rs 300 and the wages of daily workers to Rs 100 from Rs 75 with immediate effect,'' Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said in his press conference here.

Yesterday, the government had announced holidays for government women employees on Raksha Bandhan and Bhaiya Dooj, besides free travelling facilities to them in Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses on these two days.

Mr Dhumal said the increase in the pension would benefit over 2.38 lakh people of the state, while the increase in wages would benefit thousands of daily workers.

The increase in daily wages would also benefit thousands of workers who would be employed under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which would be implemented in all the districts of the state from April one, this year, he said.

The Chief Minister said it was his government that had increased the pension to Rs 200 from Rs 100 during its last tenure in 1998.

Reiterating his government's resolve to work for the weaker sections of the society, he said his government would direct the policies and programmes of the government towards the comman man who had suffered the most in the last few years.

Earlier, he announced a sum of Rs nine lakh and Rs five lakh respectively for two NGOs, ''Uddan'' and ''Abhi'', working for the upliftment of the handicapped children.

He assured suitable land to these organisations within the town for the construction of a building to house and train such children.

UNI AS VKJ DS KN1814

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