The Himachal Pradesh government has set up a special employment cell for providing employment opportunities to the ex-servicemen in the state. The Ex-Servicemen Welfare Board has also been set up under the chairmanship of the chief minister to look into their well-being, apart from the Sanik Welfare Department, a spokesman of the state government said here today. The government has also set up a special employment cell for providing employment opportunities to ex-servicemen of the state and 15 per cent reservation is also being provided to them in state jobs, the spokesman said. He said that at present there are 1,11,508 ex-servicemen in the state. The government has enhanced the one-time amount being given to the recipient of Paramveer and Ashok Chakras from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh and annuity from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, the spokesman said. Besides, the amount being given Mahaveer Chakra recipients has been increased from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
The annual amount has been enhanced from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, he said. The state government has enhanced the annual amount given under Mention-in-Dispatch from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 and the Yudh Jagir amount from Rs 2,000 to 5,000, he said. The spokesman said Rs 53 lakh was spent in 2015-16, whereas Rs 34 lakh was spent during the year 2016-17 in this regard. He said the state government has provided about Rs 7 crore to over 3,400 bravery award winners from the state. The government has also enhanced the annual income limit from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 for ex-servicemen above 60 years of age to avail old age pension benefits.