New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a four-fold hike in compensation for all categories of battle casualties from the existing Rs two lakh to Rs eight lakh.
A statement released by the Defence Ministry on Saturday said the enhancement in compensation for the next of kin of all categories of battle casualties has been given in-principle approval by Singh.
“Earlier, there was a provision of financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the battle casualties which are fatal, disability above 60 per cent, battle casualties invalided out due to disability and Rs 1 lakh to disability less than 60 per cent. It was in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army Group Insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount,” said the ministry statement.
The amount will be granted under Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).
The fund, instituted in July 2017 and implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016, has been set up under Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the Defence Ministry. The backdrop behind setting up the fund was an incident in Siachen in February 2016 wherein 10 soldiers were buried in an avalanche. A large number of people offered to provide monetary assistance to families of battle casualties.
The fund has been created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890. This fund is in addition to the various existing schemes for the welfare of families of martyrs and children of battle casualties in form of additional ex-gratia.
In addition to the above assistance, the already existing monetary grant includes ex-gratia (central) for various ranks ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh and Army Group Insurance ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.
Singh had also launched the ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ to assist families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action when he was the Home Minister.