Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved four-fold hike in the compensation for all categories of battle causalities. Currently the amount granted to the next kin of all categories of battle causalities is Rs 2 lakh which will be increased to Rs 8 lakh.

In a statement released by the Defence Ministry on Saturday, the enhancement in compensation for the next kin of all categories of battle causalities 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).

ABCWF was instituted in July 2017 and implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016. The fund has been setup 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 created under Charitable Endowments Act, 1980, is in addition to various existing schemes for the welfare of  families of martyrs and children of battle causalities in form of additional ex-gratia.

The 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.

During his tenure as the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh had also launched ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ to assist families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action.