HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The UK government has announced an increase in pension to the ex-Gurkhas and their dependants through the ‘Gurkha Pension Scheme’.
At the end of his weeklong visit to Nepal, UK Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan in a departure statement today announced the 9.6 per cent hike in pension with effect from April 1.
Robathan added that ‘the monetary allowance for those who have been awarded gallantry medals will be increased significantly and payments will be backdated to 2008’. The recipients of the latter are largely veterans who fought in Malaya and Borneo, added the statement. “The UK Government and the British people have a huge respect for Gurkhas, past and present. I was pleased to see the support offered to ex-Gurkhas, their dependants and their traditional communities in Nepal by the Gurkha Welfare Scheme,” Robathan said.
He also assured UK’s steadfast support, both for peace-building and development in Nepal. “The British Army and the UK continue to benefit from the outstanding contribution still being made by the Brigade of Gurkhas including their service on international peace-keeping operations. The Brigade remains a cornerstone of our bilateral ties and it helps to focus continued UK interest on Nepal, its people and its development,” he added.