New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has taken various measures, including providing an annual grant of Rs 2,200 crore, for the benefit of ex-servicemen, officials in the Ministry said on Monday.
"Government has initiated several steps in the last three years as part of its commitment to improve the welfare of the ESM. This entails granting direct benefits amounting to an additional Rs 2,200 crore annually," they said here.
A major share of this grant amounting to Rs 1,636 crore went towards further improving the pension of the Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBORs), based on the recommendations of a Group of Ministers in 2006, they said.
Following the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission in 2009, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to look specifically into the pension and other matters related exclusively to the armed forces.
"Accepting the long pending demand of ex-servicemen, government also earmarked another Rs 470.66 crore by bringing about parity between pre-and post-1997 PBOR pensioners," the officials said.
For ex-servicemen suffering from various forms of total disability, an ex-gratia of Rs 9 lakh was granted since April last year.
"For lesser disability this amount would be reduced proportionately. Grant of family pension to childless widow of armed forces personnel has also been restored retrospectively to certain conditions," the officials said.
Strengthening the health benefits for ex-servicemen, the Defence Ministry has sanctioned 199 additional ECHS polyclinics to the existing 227 polyclinics. 61 polyclinics have become functional by March this year, they said.