Punjab government today announced a special grant-in-aid of Rs 50 lakh for the widows or the legal heirs of soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 and 1962 India-China war. A spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that a policy had been announced way back in 1975 and over 1,500 war widows had been allotted up to 10 acres of rural agricultural land or cash equivalent in lieu of land at the rate notified from time to time. However, there were nearly 100 cases in which the applicants, for one reason or another, failed to apply within the stipulated cut-off date.
Above 100 such cases had applied till the extended cut-off date January 4, 2010. The spokesperson further said that the residual agricultural land available for allotment was either locked up in litigation or in unauthorised possession, which rendered it practically impossible for the war widow allottees to take over possession of the land. Therefore, keeping in view the demands of war widows and their representatives, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal decided to honour the remaining duly verified and deserving cases of war widows with the cash grant, he said. It was clarified, that as in the scheme notified before, the residual land owned by the war-widow would be taken into account on proportionate basis in calculation of the cash-grant. The grant would be payable in three half yearly instalments of Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. A formal gazette notification would be issued soon after obtaining the approval of Council of Ministers and the cash-grant would be disbursed through the Directorate of Sainik Welfare in their ancestral towns and villages so as to prevent any inconvenience to the war widows, the spokesman added.
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