By Sheain Fernandopulle
Cabinet approval was granted to pay disabled war veterans the salaries and allowances they received at the time of retirement, for life, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday.
A statement released by the ministry said that this would be applicable to disabled veterans of the security forces, police and STF, and this will come into effect from yesterday.
This decision was granted following a group of disabled war soldiers has staged several protest campaigns outside the Presidential Secretariat and the Fort Railway station. The protest, which has been staged for 14 consecutive days outside the Fort Railway station, was accompanied by Buddhist monks, civil activists, artists and general public.
The statement stated that nothing substantial was granted for the welfare of the disabled soldiers by the previous government and added but this government was able to provide relief that was not given for the past 20 years to all members of the police and security forces.
“It also implemented an increase in the allowances paid to officers of the armed forces and other ranks. The government has taken steps to increase the monthly ration allowance of security forces officers and other ranks from January,” it said.
Accordingly, the officers’ ration allowance has been increased to Rs. 23,231 and the other ranks’ ration allowance has been increased to Rs. 19,350. In addition, the rental allowance paid to members of the Armed Forces was doubled. The commando allowance given to Army, Navy and Air Force has also been increased from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs will soon revise the Establishments Code and related circulars to implement the new life-time pension payment for disabled soldiers .