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Sikkim celebrates 43rd Statehood Day

 GANGTOK, May 16 - Sikkim celebrated its 43rd Statehood Day with great fanfare today. It was on this day in 1975 that Sikkim had officially become a State under the Union of India and Kazi Lhendup Dorjee became its first Chief Minister.

 A grand function was held at the Samman Bhavan auditorium in the capital town where Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling highlighted the achievements of his Government.

Sikkim has witnessed massive development and progress over the last two decades under his Government, said Chamling, who has broken the record of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu as the longest serving Chief Minister by being in office for nearly 24 years.

“Our GSDP has increased by 5,154.80 times which speaks volumes on the State’s development and progress. Similarly, our per capita income and revenue generation have increased substantially,” he said.

He said the salaries of the State Government employees had increased by 2,412 per cent after the last pay revision in 2008. The recent recommendations submitted by the Pay Commission and accepted by the State Government will further enhance their salaries.

Similarly in the case of retired government employees, there has been more than 2,100 per cent increase in their pensions, Chamling added.

Sikkim has the highest number of employees on the government pay roll, constituting about 14 per cent of its population.

Sikkim Governor N Shrinivas Patil, speaking in the same programme, greeted the people of Sikkim on the occasion. He congratulated Chamling for setting a new record of being the longest serving Chief Minister.

The 67-year-old Chamling became the longest serving Chief Minister on April 29 this year when he completed 23 years, four months and 17 days at the helm of Sikkim, surpassing late Jyoti Basu’s record.

The Governor expressed happiness over the greenfield Pakyong airport for launch of air connectivity soon and said it would be followed by railway connectivity in the next couple of years. – PTI

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