Defence Minister looking into education fund cap issue: Army Chief

New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has promised to resolve the issue of a cap of Rs 10,000 on educational expenses paid to the children of defence forces martyrs.

General Rawat said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, has informed her of the issue, and she has said the issue will be addressed on priority.

Defence Ministry sources said the Minister had held a meeting on the issue on Wednesday and a decision is likely soon.

General Rawat said, “For our martyrs, children are entitled (to) free education. It is a very good thing that the government has done. What has happened is possibly because of some misunderstanding – they have now capped it at Rs 10,000 because somebody must have calculated as to how much a person spends per month on child education.”

“In our case, we have written to the government. I think the Defence Minister is completely seized of the problem. She is aware of it, and after we explained the reason to her… she said she is certainly concerned about it and will address the issue on priority,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

According to informed sources, Admiral Lanba, the most senior among the three service chiefs, wrote to the Minister to urge her to resolve the problem.

A letter dated September 13 by the department of ex-servicemen welfare capped fee for tuitions and hostel expenses at Rs 10,000 per month.

The demand for a rollback on the decision was also raised by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and Union Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh, who is himself an Army ex-chief.

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