SAMBA: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several path breaking decisions for martyrs’ welfare over the last nine years and unlike the earlier governments, the government headed by him is deeply sensitive and concerned about the welfare of Armed Forces and their martyrs.
No other Government has come out with so many benefits and welfare measures to take care of the families of martyrs as initiated in the last more than nine years, he said.
“Though the loss of a precious life is irreparable to the family and the nation, the Government is very sensitive to the welfare of the families of the martyrs and bears this responsibility with extreme care and concern,” said Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.
Dr Jitendra Singh was addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Shaheed Gate (Gate in memory of Martyr) named after Colonel Narayan Singh (OBE) at Samba district of J&K.
The Union Minister said the Govt. provides an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 25 to 45 Lakh to the next of kin of the martyred soldiers. In addition to this, Rs. 8,00,000 is provided in the form of ex-gratia by the Army Central Welfare Fund. State governments also provide an ex-gratia amount as per their provisions. This is in addition to the Liberalised Family Pension and regular service benefits.
In case of the death of Agniveer in the line of duty, the next of kin will receive over Rs. 1 crore, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, welfare measures include reservation in jobs and financial support and scholarships to their families for various education needs of the dependent children.
The Minister said, reservation of seats has been ensured in Medical/Dental Colleges for the wards of defence personnel as Government of India nominees. A total of 42 MBBS seats and 3 seats in BDS courses are allotted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. For this, priority is given to wards of personnel killed in action.
Reservation of jobs has also been provided in CPSEs and public sector banks. SAFAL outlets are provided to widows/ dependents of service personnel who passed away in service/ ex-servicemen in Delhi and NCR region.
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has reserved 8% quota for allotment of LPG distributorship and petrol/diesel retail outlets for defence personnel which also include widows, dependents of members of Armed Forces who died in war. Rail travel concession identity cards are also issued to war widows,” he said.
Complimenting the organisers, ‘Ek Eint Shaheed ke Naam’ institution, Dr Jitendra Singh, who represents Udhampur constituency of J&K in the Lok Sabha, said we owe our secure borders to the supreme sacrifice of our Armed Forces soldiers.
“We all, the citizens of the country, are able to carry on with their daily life in peace thanks to the gallant soldiers who valiantly guard our frontiers throughout the year, 24×7,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said there is a sharp decline in the cross-border firing incidents along the LoC and International Border and violence is also down in the Union Territory of J&K during the last nine years, especially in the four years since Article 370 was revoked in August 2019. But the sporadic firing incidents in the recent days and continuing infiltration bids across the LoC prove that we cannot lower the guard against mischief from Pakistan and territories under its illegal occupation.
“India’s attitude changed since PM Modi took over charge in 2014, first the surgical strikes by Indian Army in September 2016 and later the Balakote airstrikes by IAF in February 2019 sent a clear signal across the border that terrorist attacks sponsored from across the border will be sternly dealt with, said the Minister.