In an encouraging news for Gurkha Army, the UK Government has decided to purse rise of their individual pensions from 10 percent to 34 percent.
Towards this end, the government is investing a sum of GBP 15 million!
With this implementation, the average Gurkha pension will come to around NPR 730,000 per year, along with improving their living standards and pensions over a lifetime compared to their British counterparts in similar service.
In addition, the UK Government has also decided to add GBP 25 million (NPR 3.6 billion) to the Gurkha Welfare Trust in Nepal towards healthcare support to Gurkhas over the next 10 years period.
The British Government has also given relief to veteran Gurkha soldiers. It said that soldiers with more than 4-year service relieved from duties before 1997 can settle in UK while also receiving welfare and medical support.
“It isn’t possible to meet the expectations of everyone. But having listened intently to veterans concerns I believe there is more we can do. So today I announce a significant uplift to Gurkha pension provision,” said March Lancaster, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces in UK in an article titled ‘Announcement for Gurkhas’.
Lancaster denied with media reports saying that ‘every soldier joining the Gurkha Brigade since 2007 followed similar terms and conditions as their British counterparts, including pay and pension.
Whereas, those before 2007 were on different system for some good reasons, the official explains.
“Under the 1947 Tripartite Agreement between the UK, Nepal, and India, Gurkha regiments became part of the British and Indian Armies. This agreement reflected the circumstances of the time and significantly, such terms of service were voluntarily accepted. But the fairness also worked both ways. Before 1975 British personnel serving less than 22 years received no pension,” reads a statement by Lancaster.
He added that the pensions to Gurkha soldiers increased at a rate greater than British Army.
“Most Gurkhas had begun to receive theirs in their 30s. Over the years Gurkha pensions have been steadily increasing, often at a much faster rate than British pensions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the British Army has also agreed to a significant rise in the number of Gurkha recruits. Instead of 320 (initially), considered as the biggest number in 33 years, the Gurkha Company can now recruit over 400.
This decision is coming after a steep decline in the number of recruits by the British Army from within the UK.
Hope the new announcement gives due encouragement to the Gurkha Army and the community as a whole to plan their careers.
The British Army’s openness to allow more Gurkha recruits also lifts the reputation and demand for Gurkha soldiers at the global level! All the Best, the Relentless Fighters!
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