Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 08:26 AM IST

Gurkha ex-servicemen are foundational pillars of Indo-Nepal friendship: Mukherjee

Updated: Nov 04, 2016 18:10 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov. 4 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the Government of India and the army are proud of the Gurkha soldiers and ex-servicemen as they are the foundational pillars of the friendship between Nepal and India.

President Mukherjee said this while addressing a gathering of Gurkha ex-servicemen of Indian Army at Pension Payment Office in Nepal's Pokhara region.

"It is a matter of pride that the brave Gurkhas have been serving India for the last 200 years with exemplary courage and sincerity. They have earned a name for themselves in the Indian Army," said President Mukherjee.

"Today 32,000 Gurkha soldiers are serving in the Indian Army and around 1 Lakh, 26 thousand ex-servicemen and their dependents are drawing pension in Nepal," he added.

He assured them that the Government of India would never step back in its efforts to ensure the welfare of its ex-servicemen.

"Nearly 3100 crores Nepali rupees are being distributed as pension in Nepal. In the current year, our objective is to distribute around 4000 crore of Nepali rupees under 'One Rank One Pension' and seventh Central Pay Commission commitments," he added.

The President further said the Government of India has provided 32,000 Nepali Rupees per pensioner in addition to other aid to the 6832 earthquake affected ex-servicemen.

In year 2015, approximately 6.5 crore Nepali rupees have been distributed under various welfare schemes. Apart from starting the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme in Nepal to take care of their health in old age, approximately 1 crore Nepali rupees has been distributed as medical assistance.

At least 10 medical teams from the Indian Army visit Nepal every year. Till now 64 Ambulances have been gifted to various ex-servicemen institutions.