Ex-Gurkhas get hike in pension

Kathmandu, March 20:

The British government has announced an increase in pensions of former Gurkha soldiers by 14.1 per cent in line with the inflation in Nepal. The hike will come into effect from April 1, said a statement issued here today by the British Embassy.

The statement added that in addition to the 14.1 per cent increment for all ex-Gurkhas, there will be a significant hike by 20 per cent or more to some 1,000 pensioners who are aged 80 or over, as per the 1947 Tri-Partite Agreement between Nepal, India and Britain.

“This means the elderly who are the most vulnerable will get an overall increase of at least 34 per cent on their pensions, a significant proportion of which will be backdated to January 2006,” it said.

The statement quoted Kevan Jones, under-secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans, “It has always been our policy to ensure that the 26,500 Gurkha pensioners mainly living in Nepal are treated fairly. This ensures that Gurkha pensions are kept at a fair and appropriate level and that the elderly who are the most vulnerable are helped. It demonstrates our continuing commitment to the retired Gurkha community in Nepal. This also reinforces the UK’s long standing links with the government of Nepal, which we greatly value and would wish to maintain.”