Arrears Pile Up As Revised Gallantry Perks Go Unpaid
Pension disbursing authorities (PDAs) have failed to pay the enhanced rates of monetary allowances applicable to gallantry awards revised last year, drawing the ire of the Ministry of Defence over a large number of complaints being received by it from individual beneficiaries and pensioners’ associations.
The allowances attached to pre as well as post-Independence gallantry awards were revised in 2011 and then again in 2017, but payments to many beneficiaries are still being paid at old rates.
Thousands of retired armed forces personnel or their next of kin are recipients of these allowances, for which nine pre-Independence and nine post-Independence gallantry awards are notified.
On examining the cases, it has been noticed that monetary allowance of gallantry awards has neither been revised as per the circular issued in June 2011 nor that issued in December 2017, states a circular issued last week by the Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts to the Reserve Bank of India, treasuries of all state government, public sector banks, controllers of defence accounts, post offices and other pension payment agencies.
“Non-revision of monetary allowance of gallantry awards by the PDAs has resulted in huge arrears. Non-payment of dues to the pensioners/family pensioners as well as accumulation of such cases has been viewed seriously by the MoD,” the circular adds.
The MoD has further directed to ensure that such incidents do not recur and also asked PDAs to review all cases and submit detailed status reports on payment of correct rate of allowances.
With effect from August 1, 2017, the earlier rates were doubled. Recipients of the Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra are now entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,000, respectively, while new allowances for the Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra are Rs 12,000, Rs 9,000 and Rs 6,000, respectively. Similarly, the rates of several pre-Independence awards were enhanced to Rs 8,000 and Rs 6,000.
The allowances are payable to gallantry awardees for life and on their demise, the widow will continue to receive the same until her death. In case of a widower, the son, till the age of 18, or unmarried daughter will receive it, while for a posthumous bachelor awardee, the parents are entitled to it.