Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday gave in-principle approval to the enhancement of monetary assistance to next of kin (NoK) of all categories of battle casualties from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
The amount will be granted under the Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).Earlier, there was a provision of financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the battle casualties which are fatal, 60 per cent and above disability, battle casualties invalidated due to disability and Rs 1 lakh to disability less than 60 per cent.
This amount is dispersed in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army Group Insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex gratia amount.
“The ABCWF has been set up under Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence after a large number of people offered to provide monetary assistance to the families of battle casualties following an incident in February 2016 at Siachen, wherein 10 soldiers were buried in an avalanche. The ABCWF was instituted in July 2017 and was implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016,” a release issued by the ministry of defence stated.
The fund was created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890. A bank account was also opened for the public to deposit money.
This fund is in addition to the various existing schemes for the welfare of NoK and children of battle casualties in the 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.
Earlier, when he was Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh had launched ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ to assist families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action. The fund became hugely popular within a short span of time and received widespread support from all quarters.