Government abolishes annual income limit for old age pension
Distributed Rs. 73.94 lakh to 365 gallantry and distinguished service awardees
Himachal Pradesh, the land of gods, is also known as the Veer Bhoomi. Thousands of youth from the state are enthusiastic to serve in the army to safeguard the borders of the country. Many schemes are being run by the state government for the welfare of these brave soldiers and their dependents. The present state government has made a decent increase in the rates of ex-gratia given to the dependents of martyred or disabled soldiers during war or army operations.
The ex-gratia of Rs. 20 lakh given earlier to soldiers martyred in war or war-like circumstances, including armed forces and paramilitary forces, has been increased to Rs. 30 lakh. Similarly, in case of death due to illness or any other cause, the ex-gratia to the dependents of a soldier has been increased from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 7.50 lakh. For soldiers with 50 percent or more disability who have retired due to the same, the ex-gratia has been increased from Rs. 2.50 lakh to Rs. 3.75 lakh. The ex-gratia amount to the soldiers with less than 50 percent disability, who have retired due to the same, has been increased from rupees one lakh to Rs. 1.50 lakh. The present state government has so far provided an amount of Rs. 2 crore 22 lakh to 22 beneficiaries during the financial year 2023-24.
The state government provides cash rewards, annuity and cash in lieu of land to ex-servicemen honored with different gallantry awards as recognition of their bravery. This amount is being provided to gallantry awardees and distinguished service awardees. So far, an amount of Rs. 73,93,975 has been distributed to 365 beneficiaries by the present state government.
A range of schemes are also being run under the special fund for the resurgence and rehabilitation of ex-servicemen. Various scholarships are being provided to ex-servicemen and their children under the special fund. For this, the maximum limit of annual income has been fixed at Rs. 7 lakh. These scholarships are provided for postgraduate courses, polytechnic and agricultural universities, professional courses like medical, engineering and ayurveda, ITI and other similar courses.
The state government has also made a provision of 15 percent reservation in employment for ex-servicemen in various departments. If ex-servicemen are not available as per eligibility and qualification for the post, after two years of notification, non-availability certificate of such posts is given to the concerned department. After this, the concerned department appoints the children of ex-servicemen at these posts as per the appointment rules. So far, the present state government has appointed 300 ex-servicemen or their dependents during this year.
The state government provides a lump sum financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 for the marriage of daughters of war widows. This assistance is applicable only for two daughters. For those ex-servicemen who do not get any kind of pension and whose age is more than 60 years, this category of ex-servicemen or their widows are given an old age pension of Rs. 3000 per month. For the ex-servicemen of the Second World War or their widows, old age pension as financial assistance is Rs. 10000 and Rs. 5000 per month respectively. So far, the present state government has provided benefits worth Rs. 1 crore 48 lakh 34 thousand 969 to 1162 beneficiaries in this fiscal year. The present government has also abolished the annual income limit of Rs. 35 thousand for old age pension with effect from 02nd September, 2023.
"Our brave soldiers are ready to make supreme sacrifices to keep the borders secure and make us feel safe. The state government is committed to the welfare of these brave soldiers, ex-servicemen and their dependents. Our government has made a provision to speed up the process of filling up 15 percent posts reserved for ex-servicemen in various departments on priority basis. Besides this, an increase in ex-gratia and other benefits are also being provided," remarked the Chief Minister.
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