Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a four-fold increase in monetary assistance for battle casualties - from ₹2 lakh to ₹8 lakh. The amount will be granted under the Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF), the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
“Earlier, there was a provision of financial assistance of ₹2 lakh to the battle casualties which are fatal, 60% above disability, battle casualties invalided out due to disability and ₹1 lakh to disability less than 60%,” the statement said. It was in addition to the liberalised family pension, financial assistance from the Army group insurance, the Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount.
The ABCWF was set up in July 2017 under the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) after a large number of people offered to provide monetary assistance to the families of battle casualties following an avalanche in February 2016 on the Siachen glacier in which 10 soldiers were buried. The ABCWF was implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016, the Ministry stated.
The fund was created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890 and a bank account was opened with Syndicate Bank in New Delhi for the public to deposit money, the statement said.
This fund is in addition to the various schemes for the welfare of NoK (next of kin) and children of battle casualties in the form of additional ex-gratia. In addition to the above assistance, the existing monetary grant includes ex-gratia (central) for various ranks ranging from ₹25 lakh to ₹45 lakh and Army group insurance, ranging from ₹40 lakh to ₹75 lakh.
Also ₹60,000 under the death link insurance scheme, DLICS (JCO/Ors), ₹15,000 under the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), full reimbursement of tuition fees for wards, up to 70% concession on railway tickets and marriage grant for daughters, widow remarriage and orphan son’s marriage of battle casualties (fatal) and physical casualties (fatal) are also among the immediate & long-term assistance provided by the Ministry, the statement added.