Defence Minister hands over ex-gratia to next of kin of battle casualties

| Updated: Jul 26, 2017 02:39 IST

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday handed over additional ex-gratia amount from the Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF) to ten next of kin of battle casualties. Speaking on the occasion Jaitley said, "Till now, it has been the Government, the Armed Forces and the insurance agencies that have been taking care of the families of these martyrs. It is a symbolic concern shown by the citizens that they care for them." He further said that it is a kind of reciprocity from the people indicating that they now stand with these martyrs and next of their kin. The fund is being pooled by the concerned citizens for such martyrs, Jaitley said. The Defence Minister also released an amount of Rs. 3.04 crore to 142 next of kin of brave soldiers of the Indian Army, who made the supreme sacrifice for the country. The ABCWF has been set up under the department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence following a large number of requests to the Defence Minister from citizens, who expressed willingness to assist families of battle casualties, especially in the context of Siachen incident in February 2016 in which ten soldiers were buried in an avalanche. The fund has been created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890 and a bank account bearing No. 90552010165915 has been opened in the South Block Branch of Syndicate Bank, New Delhi for public to deposit money. There is a provision of financial assistance of Rs. 2 lakh to the army battle casualties which are fatal, 60 percent and above disability and battle casualties invalided out due to disability and Rs. 1 lakh to disability less than 60 per cent. This will be in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army Group Insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount. A draft scheme/standard operating procedure has been formulated for administration of the Fund and disbursal of financial assistance to next of kin of battle casualties. The scheme broadly lays down the objectives of the Fund, eligibility for financial assistance, management of the Fund, procedure for receipt of donations and disbursal of financial assistance. The scheme is being implemented through the Army Headquarters, Adjutant General Branch and made effective from January 1, 2016. Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Secretary (ESW) Prabhu Dayal Meena, Adjutant General Lt. General Ashwani Kumar and senior officers of MoD and the Armed Forces were also present on the occasion. (ANI)