Chandigarh: 23 Sep 2008: The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal, today announced a slew of benefits for the ex-servicemen residing in the state. He was addressing the Civil Military Liaison Conference (CMLC), that the Western Command held with State Government of Himachal Pradesh at the Command Headquarters at Chandimandir today. The one day annual meet, which was inaugurated by Shri Dhumal, was attended by top officials from the state government and Headquarters Western Command.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister announced that, in addition to the already ongoing welfare measures, the state government has taken a decision to increase the margin money on loans to ex-servicemen from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000. The government has also enhanced the financial assistance being provided to the disabled paraplegic and destitute ex-servicemen from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 out of the Special Fund for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Ex-servicemen, he said.
Recently, the Himachal government had also taken a decision to enhance the rates of financial assistance being granted to the Second World War Veterans Widows from Rs 200 to Rs 500 per month, Shri Dhumal informed. The government departments have also been directed to ensure prescribed quota of reservation (15 per cent) in employment in government jobs at all levels for the ex-servicemen, he added.
In his inaugural address, the CM thanked the Army Commander for holding the meet which, he said, provides an opportunity to discuss and resolve issues of mutual interest. He lauded the role of the armed forces and stated that he was proud of the traditional bonds that existed between the armed forces, the people and the government of Himachal Pradesh.
He assured that his government, the administration and the people of Himachal Pradesh would never be found wanting in providing any possible assistance to the armed forces. He thanked the Indian Army and its soldiers and assured them of fullest cooperation from the government side to further reinforce the existing ties.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Lt Gen TK Sapru, GOC-in-C, Western Command, thanked the Chief Minister and the state administration of Himachal Pradesh for a very positive response to the issues taken up with them. He lauded the decisions taken by the CM and the benefits announced for the welfare of the serving soldiers, ex-servicemen and next of kin of the martyrs. He said that Himachal government has been in the forefront for the welfare of the servicemen and their families and the entire nation is taking a cue from them.
On his part, the Army Commander assured his civilian counterparts that the army would always be there to assist the civil administration in every possible way. Gen Sapru expressed his utmost satisfaction at the close rapport that exists between the Himachal Pradesh Government and the armed forces. He desired that this understanding and goodwill should be further strengthened.