Though announced in March, the Punjab government finally increased allowances for gallantry awardees by 20%.
“The increase is effective from December 30, 2013. We received the letter in this regard on Monday,” said Brigadier Manjit Singh (retd), Defence Services Welfare, Punjab.
The hike was first announced by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at the triennial conference of The War Decorared India (TWDI), an organisation of gallantry awardees of the country, in Chandigarh on March 10, 2013. Finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa announced the hike in the budget on March 20, 2013.
According to Brigadier Manjit Singh, the dependents of Param Vir Chakra awardees, the highest war-time gallantry award, will now get Rs 23,100 per month. Earlier, they got Rs 19,250 a month.
For awardees of Ashok Chakra, the highest peace-time gallantry award, the allowance is now Rs 18,480 per month. Earlier, it was Rs 15,400.
In the case of awardees of the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), the second highest war-time gallantry award, the allowance has been hiked from Rs 14,630 per month to Rs 17,556 per month.
The awardees of the third highest gallantry award, Vir Chakra, will now get Rs 10,164 per month, whereas earlier it was Rs 8,470.
For awardees of Kirti Chakra, the second highest peace-time gallantry award, the allowance has been hiked to Rs 13,860 from Rs 11,550.
The awardees of Shaurya Chakra, which comes third in order of precedence in case of peace-time awards, will now get Rs 6,480. Earlier, they were getting Rs 5,400.
In case of death of awardees, their dependants will get the money.
“The hike is for those who received the awards before 2002. After that, the policy was changed and we started giving lumpsum amount,” said Brigadier Manjit Singh.
“I welcome the decision. But it has come quite late. When the chief minister had promised it should have come earlier,” said Captain Reet MP Singh (retd), a Vir Chakra awardee and TWDI secretary general.