New Delhi: The government has decided to provide full pension pay to armed forces personnel killed or injured guarding India’s border with China. The decision comes eight months after the Doklam standoff which saw Indian Army and PLA troops almost coming to physical blows.
While families of soldiers were previously entitled to 30 per cent of the last emoluments, government officials have said that the ‘liberalised family pension’ allows for 100 per cent of the last-drawn emolument. This was previously applicable only for soldiers deployed along the international border with Pakistan. Security analysts and defence experts are underlining that extending it to Sino-India border is a sign of the government’s renewed focus towards not just tightening security but to also boost troop morale. However, the Army’s demand to implement the decision with retrospective pay from June of 2017 has been rejected.
According to a defence ministry notification, the family pension scheme for the armed forces personnel deployed along the Sino-India border came into effect from March 7. It said the cases which were settled prior to the issue of the notification will not be “reopened”.
Ties between the two countries along the border – especially around the Doklam area – remains frosty. Although troops of both sides had already withdrawn from the disputed Doklam territory, and although the Indian government has maintained that peace prevails, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently did reveal that there is a lot of construction activity on the Chinese side in the region. China also recently increased its defence budget significantly – alarming not just India but several other countries as well.