Solan, Aug 15 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday announced a six percent hike in dearness allowance (DA) for state government employees and pensioners from January 1.
Addressing a gathering here on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day, the Chief Minister said the arrears of the DA from January this year would be paid in October.
An interim relief of five percent was already announced in August 1, a government spokesperson told IANS.
Virbhadra Singh earlier hoisted the national flag on a 121-foot tall pole and took salute of contingents of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), state police, Home Guards and the National Cadet Corps (NCC) at the Thodo ground.
A police contingent from neighbouring Uttarakhand also participated. The parade was led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Arjit Sen Thakur.
“Education is the backbone of a developed society and to achieve the objective, the primary focus of my government has been to empower every child by providing basic and quality education,” the Chief Minister said.
“A total of 1,010 schools in the state have been either upgraded or new ones opened,” he said.
Apart from this, he said under the state’s Skill Development Allowance Scheme, a total of 1.27 lakh youths have benefited.
Under the scheme, Rs.1,000 is given as allowance to the unemployed youth and Rs.1.500 to phycially challenged a month to enhance their skills. A sum of Rs.93 crore has been disbursed under this scheme.
The Chief Minister also paid floral tributes at Shaheed Smarak at Chambaghat on the outskirts of the town. A colourful cultural programme was also performed by school students.
On the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar presented a cheque for Rs.21 lakh on behalf of the district administration to the Chief Minister towards the Chief Minister Relief Fund.
Similar Independence Day functions were also organised in all 12 district headquarters.