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Army wants grants for peace- time postings too.

THE army has sent a proposal to the defence ministry seeking to redefine " field areas" and " modified field areas". Field areas have been defined as the operational areas near international borders, where the armed forces are likely to see action. Modified field areas lie at the national boundaries.

But now, considering that the forces have encountered enemies within the national borders for almost 50 years, it should be able to declare field areas and modified field areas in these regions, too, as it is undertaking military operations there.

If the proposal is accepted soldiers involved in counter- terrorism and counter- insurgency operations will be entitled to field allowances. The families of the army men who die in such operations will also be entitled to death benefits and pension.

This would mean that the family of a deceased soldier or officer would get 100 per cent of the last salary drawn by the personnel as pension.

The army is also seeking parity between the ex gratia paid to the kin of soldiers killed in counterinsurgency operations and warlike conflicts. Under the current system, the family of an armyman killed in a Kargil- like conflict is paid an ex gratia of ` 20 lakh, while the kin of those killed in counter- insurgency/ terrorism operations get only ` 15 lakh.

The army has also proposed a change in case of personnel who go missing during action. Earlier, the force would wait for seven years before it declared the person dead and paid pension to his family. The rule was modified and pension was given a year after the missing complaint was filed. The army has now proposed that a provisional pension will be paid to the kin soon after the FIR is filed.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 28, 2010
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