Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day that it has been a consistent endeavour of the Government to work towards the welfare and well being of the men serving the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard).
“Considering the hardships and long separation of Jawans from their families when serving in forward and high altitude areas, I have asked the Ministry to complete the Married Accommodation Project (MAP) on priority. This will provide nearly 2 lakh dwelling units for the married personnel near their places of posting. The third and final phase of MAP is soon expected to be implemented providing 71,000 more dwelling units.”
Parrikar announced that from 01 April this year, the grant for up to two daughters of Ex-Servicemen has been revised from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000.
Furthermore, the number of Scholarships under Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) has been raised from 4000 to 5500 with effect from academic year 2015-2016 to be shared equally between boys and girls. The scheme aims at promoting higher technical and professional education among the wards of Ex-Servicemen /Ex-Coast Guard.
Parrikar said the government is taking special measures to provide quality and affordable medicare to ex-servicemen and their dependents.
“Our government has taken the historic decision to implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) in November last year and fulfilled the long standing demand of the Defence Forces personnel benefitting over 20 lakh Ex-Servicemen pensioners. I am happy to inform that Rs 3819.33 crores have already been distributed to 18,90,635 defence forces pensioners towards OROP arrears/revised pension,” the minister added.
“As part of health care reforms, we have completely digitized the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). A total of over forty-seven lakhs beneficiaries have been covered under ECHS. As of now the scheme is being run through 28 regional centres. A total of 1445 civil hospitals have been empanelled to provide cashless treatment to ECHS beneficiaries,” he added.