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SOURCE: PTI

Families of Agniveers dying in the line of duty should get the same benefits that are extended to those of regular military personnel, a parliamentary panel has recommended. Under the existing provisions, families of Agniveers who die in the line of duty are not eligible for regular benefits like pension.

“Considering the plight of family members/next of kin, the Committee desire after martyrdom of an Agniveer, the same benefits should be provided to their family members that are provided to the family of a regular soldier,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee On Defence said in its latest report.

In June 2022, the government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme for short-term induction of personnel with an aim to bring down the age profile of the three services.

It provides for recruiting youths between the age bracket of 17 and half years and 21 for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

The committee also recommended increasing the ex gratia amount granted to families of soldiers dying in the line of duty by ? 10 lakh in each category.

The committee was informed by the Ministry of Defence that the ex gratia amount varies for different categories of death of the soldier.

Compensation of ? 25 lakh is granted in case of death occurring due to accidents or acts of violence by terrorists, anti-social elements while performing duties.

A compensation of ? 35 lakh is paid in case of death occurring in border skirmishes and action against militants, terrorists, extremists, sea pirates etc, the report mentioned.

Besides, an amount of ? 45 lakh is granted as compensation in case of death occurring during enemy action in war, it noted.

“The committee desires to reiterate that the Government should seriously consider increasing the ex gratia fund by ? 10 lakh in each of the above categories. The minimum amount under any category will be ? 35 lakh and the maximum ? 55 lakh,” it said.