The Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has approved a four-fold increase in the monetary assistance provided to the next of kin of all battle casualties. With this, the fund provided to the families of battle casualties will be hiked from existing Rs 2 lakh to 8 lakh.
- Currently, the monetary assistance worth Rs 2 lakh was given to the families of battle casualties in case of death or those who sustained 60 percent and above disability besides other categories.
- The fund will be provided from the Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF). The families of all categories of battle casualties will be able to avail the monetary assistance. The move fulfills a long-standing demand of the Indian Army.
- The Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund was set up under the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) after many people offered to grant monetary assistance to the families of battle casualties.
- This followed a tragic incident at Siachen in February 2016, when ten soldiers got buried under an avalanche.
- The welfare fund was set up in July 2017 and was implemented from April 2016. This was in addition to the various schemes that have been set up for the welfare of the families of battle casualties.
- The other existing monetary schemes include funds ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh for different ranks and Army Group Insurance, which ranges from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.
- Besides this, the Narendra Modi-led government had launched the ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ in its first term to provide monetary assistance to the families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action.