Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh welcomed the decision of the Government of India (GoI) for approving the One-Rank One-Pension (OROP) to the ex-servicemen of the country in the Interim Budget presented by P. Chidambram, the Union Finance Minister.

The Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh has a distinguished history of its brave soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Nation. He said that the soldiers from Himachal Pradesh were decorated with highest Military honours and had received various medals for their valor.

He said that the approval by the Union Government for OROP for its Jawans was a real tribute to the serving and retired soldiers. He said that Rs 500 crore will be transferred in 2014-15 for implementing the ‘one rank one pension,’ by Government of India for the defence forces.

The Chief Minister said that the decision has come at a right point when the ex-servicemen and serving soldiers were pressing for their demand to be fulfilled on priority. There are 14 lakh serving and 24 lakh retired military personnel in the country. Under the “one rank, one pension” rule, retired soldiers of the same rank and length of service will receive the same pension, regardless of when they retire, said the Chief Minister.

Virbhadra Singh also thanked the Government of India for considering the demand of Himachal Pradesh for Additional Central Assistance. He said that announcement of releasing a sum of Rs. 1,200 crore as Additional Central Assistance to Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Northeastern States was a welcome decision.

He said that the GoI realises the need of hill states which are alike in topography. The additional fund so released would speed up the development works in the State as the financial aid announced would be made available to the State soon.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.