Telangana is all set to be the most rewarding state for armed forces personnel and their families. If what Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced in the state assembly on Tuesday is implemented, a one of its kind state army welfare fund of Rs 80 crore annually would be in place for Indian Army personnel and their families. What makes it interesting is the fact that the chief minister, his cabinet, MLAs, MLCs, MPs and state government employees will contribute towards raising Rs 80 crore on an annual basis and the fund will be used for servicemen, ex-servicemen and their families.
The CM and cabinet ministers will contribute Rs 25,000 each every year towards the fund while MLAs, MLCs and MPs will shell out Rs 10,000 each. State government employees, the chief minister said, have agreed voluntarily to give up one day's wages as a contribution to the fund. "Under this programme, army personnel who are in the service, those who became martyrs, those who became medically unfit and handicapped and retired army personnel will get benefited. Responding positively to the call given by the government, ministers, legislators, members of Parliament and others government employees came forward to contribute their lot," KCR said.
K Chandrashekhar Rao also enhanced cash rewards given to army personnel for various medals and honours making it the highest in the country. Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees will be given a cash award of Rs 2.25 crore as against Rs 2 crore paid by the Punjab government that was so far the highest reward amount. For Mahavir Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees, the Telangana government will give Rs 1.25 crore. Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awardees will be given Rs 75 lakh each and Sena Medal awardees will receive Rs 30 lakh each.
For the Athi Visishta Seva Medal, the cash award will be Rs 25 lakh while Rs 20 lakh shall be given to Visishta Seva Medal awardees. For Sena Medal winners, the state government is proposing to pay Rs 5 lakh.
In more sops, army personnel who are on the move due to their job requirements need not pay any vehicle tax if already paid. The chief minister also announced that the government has decided to exempt the personnel and their spouses from paying house tax on their immovable property.