Kullu: In the run up to assembly elections, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Wednesday announced sops for government employees and pensioners.
"The government will provide 7 percent dearness allowance to all state employees and pensioners due from January," he said in his Independence Day speech here. "This will cost Rs.350 crore to the state exchequer."
He announced enhancement in social security pension to Rs.450 a month from Rs.400. "It will be effective from Sep 1 and would benefit about 300,000 beneficiaries."
For daily wagers, Dhumal announced the increase in salary of daily wagers from Rs.130 to Rs.150 and daily allowance of Home Guard volunteers from Rs.200 to Rs.225. Both will come into effect from Sep 1.
For the welfare of police force, the chief minister announced that all constables completing 20 years of services will be designated as honorary head constables.
For students, Dhumal announced a cash award of Rs.31,000 to the students belonging to the state admitted to IIT/IIM, besides an annual scholarship of Rs.15,000 to 2,000 girls ranking at top 2,000 positions in Class XII examination of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education.
On the occasion, the chief minister launched the netbook distribution scheme under which 4,000 toppers of matric will be provided notbooks.
He announced to provide 50 percent subsidy on wheat seed and fodder to the drought-hit farmers.
Though elections to the 68-member assembly are due in December, they are likely to be held in November.