July 23, 2009 : Smt. Prabha Rau, Governor, emphasised the need for in-creasing enrolment quota for Himachal Pradesh in armed forces by following the issue more vigorously with the Government of India. She was addressing the 22nd Meeting of State Sainik Board and 40th Meeting of Administrative State Management Committee for Special Corpus here today under her Chairmanship. She said that keeping in view the outstanding record of the serving and ex-servicemen in different operations in the Country, the youth of the State deserved more opportunities to serve in defence services. She said that the matter required to be taken up with the Government of India at appropriate level to relax the recruitable male population condition in terms of Himachal Pradesh. She said that the long pending demand of ‘One Rank and One Pension’ raised by the State Government had been accepted by the Government of India and the ex-servicemen of the State would be benefitted immensely.
Governor underlined the need for regular and periodic meeting of Rajya Sainik Welfare Boards under the Chairmanship of the Minister to review the achievements under different sainik welfare programmes of the State. She said that education and training programmes for the wards of ex-servicemen should be conducted to prepare them for recruitment in the armed forces. She said that the people of the State were indebted to their brave soldiers who had brought laurels to the State and country by showing exemplary courage during war and peace missions.
Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, reiterated the resolve of State Government to deliver best of services to the serving and ex-servicemen and their wards for the valuable contribution made by them for the cause of the Nation. He said that the State Government had enhanced annuity from time to time and presently Param Vir Chakra Awardee was being given Rs. 1.25 lakh instead of Rs. 4,500; Ashok Chakra Awardee Rs. 1.00 lakh instead of Rs. 4,000; Maha Vir Chakra Awardee Rs. 1.00 lakh in place of Rs. 3,600; Kirti Chakra Awardee Rs. 1.00 lakh in place of Rs. 3,300; Vir Chakra Awardee Rs. 50,000 instead of Rs. 2,400 while the annuity to all other gallantry and distinguished awardees doubled from the present rates. He said that new gallantry awardees were being provided one time lump sum grant instead of cash awards, annuity and grant-in-lieu of land. He said that one time grant to PVC and Ashok Chakra winner was Rs. 25 lakhs; MVC and Kirti Chakra Rs. 15 lakh; Vir Chakra and Shourya Chakra Rs. 10 lakh.
Chief Minister said that old age pension of ex-servicemen and World War-II veterans had been enhanced from Rs. 200 to Rs. 330 per month and from Rs. 200 to Rs. 550 per month respectively while distress grant enhanced from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 on merit basis to those ex-servicemen living in penury and additionally War Jagir had also been increased from Rs. 900 to Rs. 2,000 per annum from current financial year. He said that the State happened to be the largest contributor towards armed forces in terms of population as there were 1,20,590 serving, 1,01,057 ex-servicemen, 1,048 war widows, 25,573 other widows, 3,75,460 other dependents of ex-servicemen and 1,25,250 families depending upon serving soldiers. He said that during Operation Vijay launched in Kargil hills of Drass Sector of Laddakh out of four Param Vir Chakras awarded two were won by Himachali soldiers. He said that the State Government had provided best of the package to the martyr’s family.
Prof. Dhumal reiterated the resolve of the State Government that there would be no effort left undone to protect the interests of the serving, ex-servicemen and their wards to help them lead economically a comfortable life. He said that 15 percent reservation was also being provided to them in recruitment to various government and public sector undertakings at all level.
Smt. Asha Swaroop, Chief Secretary, justified the need for setting up an independent CSD depot at Una to cater to the needs of ex-servicemen besides opening up of two more poly-clinics at Mubarikpur in district Una and Sarkaghat in district Mandi to cater to health care facilities of the ex-servicemen.
Ms. Harinder Hira, Additional Chief Secretary, welcomed the Governor, Chief Minister and detailed different activities of the Department and Board.
Dr. Abhishek Jain, DC officiating Director Sainik Welfare, conducted proceedings of the meeting and also proposed vote of thanks.Shri Kishan Kapoor, Industries Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Sainik Welfare, Smt. Parminder Mathur, Additional Chief Secretary and other senior officers of the State Government and Army attended the meeting among others.