This is one proposal of the 6th Central Pay Commission which is really a consolation to the ruing armed forces personnel.
The government has accepted a CPC recommendation that the state exchequer bear the travel cost of deceased personnel’s family members from the place of death to his village or funeral site.
“The government has accepted the 6th CPC recommendation that travel by fastest means including air shall be authorised for onward and return journeys to dependents of deceased armed forces personnel for conducting customary social rites for all ranks,” Defence Minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha yesterday.
In his action taken reports relating to the Standing Committee on Defence, Mr. Antony said the Service headquarters had moved a proposal with the CPC on conveyance of “dead bodies” and relatives of deceased Service personnel by air or the fastest means of travel.
The Committee had in its report noted that during the members’ visit to Andaman and Nicobar Island and North Eastern States, they had observed that in case of casualties or death of soldiers, the body was sent to their native place by flights, but the family members were not allowed to travel in the same flight because it was not mentioned in the guidelines.
“This is a sorry state of affairs. Therefore, the Committee strongly feels that appropriate financial delegation at the lower level should be given to incur traveling expenditure of the family members along with the body of the deceased soldiers,” the committee had said.
In its reply, the government said travel regulations formulated in 1991 applicable on armed forces personnel already contained provisions for one of the family members to accompany the deceased by air, steamer, rail or road.
The regulations provided that one family member of the personnel, who died while in service in peace or field station, including those killed in action be allowed to perform journey by the fastest mode of transport between the place of death and place of last rites, it said.
In addition, the dead personnel, killed in the border or line of control, operations and counter-insurgency operations in India and abroad were also transported by the fastest mode pf transport available, accompanied by a person, who may either be a family member or a person deputed by the family or a unit representative from the place of occurrence to his home town.
“In this regard, the powers have also been delegated to the lowest level of commanding officer of the unit or formation to sanction expenditure on transportation of the dead personnel accompanied by an attendant,” the reply said.
Mr. Antony said Indian Airlines was allowing transport free of charge on its domestic sectors of dead officers and personnel of the armed forces. However, the airline does not provide free transportation of family members.
“Service headquarters have also moved a proposal to the CPC on conveyance of the dead soldiers by air. It will be appropriate if the government pay for the transportation of the dead soldiers, rather than the airlines granting it a concession,” Mr. Antony said.
Soure : Zee News (23-10-08)