News Delhi, Jan 20: Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday announced the provision of home childcare facilities for female employees of the State government after completion of their one-year maternity leave as a part of the State government’s initiative to improve the fertility rate in Sikkim.

In addition to the one-year maternity leave granted to all government women employees, the State government will provide childcare aid to women employees through childcare assistants for another year to ease their return to work. He added that women and widows above the age of 40 and who belong to economically backward sections will be appointed exclusively to deliver childcare services at the working mothers’ residences for a year.

The Chief Minister made this announcement during the State-level Pre-Sonam Lochar Celebration 2023, organized by Sikkim Tamang Buddhist Association (STBA) at Saramsa Garden in Ranipool, East Sikkim.

Addressing the gathering as chief guest, Chief Minister Tamang expressed concern over the declining fertility rate in the State and shared that the provision of home-based child care facilities has been announced for aiding working mothers who have active participation in the State workforce. However, the child care assistant will not cater to other household chores, he added.

He further recapitulated a slew of financial and medical support extended to State government employees, including the recently announced increment for employees with two children and a double increment for those with more than two children. He reiterated the State government’s commitment towards the welfare of the government employees and added that a committee has been formed to review the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme in place of the New Pension Scheme.

Highlighting the importance of festivals in fostering community pride and strengthening collaborative relationships, Shri Tamang urged all to strive hard to secure communal peace in the State based on purely non-political grounds

Various representatives of associations of different communities of the State were felicitated in recognition of the services provided for the welfare of their respective communities.

The program was also attended by Speaker, SLA, Arun Upreti, MP Lok Sabha, Indra Hang Subba, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, Dharma Gurus from various monasteries, STBA members, representatives of diverse communities of the State and the public at large.

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