31st meeting of State Managing Committee for administration of Punjab Amalgamated Fund was held today under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Governor of Punjab, Mr. VP Singh Badnore.While addressing the meeting, the Governor asked the senior officers of the Sainik Welfare department to formulate a comprehensive policy for the welfare of the ex-servicemen and their families. The Governor categorically asked the officers to frame proper rules while extending financial assistance to the non ECHS members and non pensioners for medical or people dying in harness other than battle causality. One time grant for higher education to two children of widows and providing incentive in the form of tool kits to the Ex-servicemen for self employment must also be covered, added Mr. Badnore.He also said that with a view to ensuring proper career guidance to the children of the ex-servicemen, every district must set up Career Counselling Centres with qualified staff and adequate infrastructure. To make them computer literate, special short duration courses of MS Office, e-accounts, data entry operations and other computer programming must be started for the retired officers who wish to get any working assignment after their retirement from the Armed Forces.
The Governor also exhorted all present to increase the collection under Flag Day Fund so as to provide more funds for these schemes.The Governor also asked the department to work out on few skill development programmes based on the inputs from the retiring Ex-servicemen for their resettlement in civil life. In this regard he asked the Govt to work on few identified skills. He has asked for a briefing on utilisation of 13% reservation for Ex-servicemen and their wards in Govt jobs and progress on establishment of Sainik School Gurdaspur.Speaking on the occasion Lt. Gen. T.S.Shergil Senior Advisor to CM Punjab apprised the Governor that as many as 22 students from Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces institute have been qualified for NDA. Now the focus would be on imparting coaching for Combined Defence Services Exam. He also suggested that all the existing institutes run by the Sainik Welfare Department must be upgraded.The meeting was conducted by Brig JS Arora, Director Defence Services Welfare Punjab.A total proposal of Rs 1.31 Cr was approved by the committee for distribution as relief to Ex-servicemen, their widows and dependents.
The Director also disclosed that in addition to this amount Govt of Punjab in last one year has given relief of up to Rs. 42 Cr to ex-servicemen and their families from different funds.The highlights of today's meeting was a proposal of the Department of Defence Services Welfare for optimum utilisation of Flag Day Fund by introducing new schemes far the welfare of ex-servicemen and their dependents which are not covered by any other scheme of Govt of India or State Government.He further said that the Govt of Punjab has allotted 40 acres of land at Gurdaspur for which seed money has already been released to DC Gurdaspur.In principle approval of RRM from Ministry of Defence is awaited before administrative approval can be issued.Prominent among others who attended the meeting included, Sh. Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Secretary, Mr. JM Balamurugan Secretary to Governor, Lt Gen GS Dhillon, Chief of Staff, Western Command, Mr. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh Secretary Defence Services Welfare, Mr. D.K. Tiwari Secretary Expenditure and senior veterans and other officers of the concerned department.