New Delhi: For improving the rehabilitation facilities for ex-servicemen which include providing better employment opportunities and effective hearing of their complaints, the Defence Ministry has proposed to increase its share of spending in the State and District Sainik Board’s expenditure.

This was announced by Defence Minister AK Antony at the 29th board meeting of Kendriya Sainik Board here on Monday.

Antony said, “Every year more than 50,000 army men equipped with vast capabilities and energy retire from military services but their skills are not being utilised post-retirement. In addition, pension and hearing of complaint are other major concerns.”

The Defence Minister also expressed his displeasure over reluctance in fulfilling the reserved posts meant for ex-servicemen.

Antony said the Ministry would ask the state governments to adopt a sensitive attitude over the issue and raise the benefits of gallantry award winners.

“The government will now bear 75 percent of expenditure in State and District Sainik Boards for Jammu & Kashmir and northeastern states which fall under special category while it has raised its share to 60 percent from 50 percent in the expenditure of Sainik Board for rest of the states,” Antony said. 

Union Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju said, “To hear the complaints of ex-servicemen, a new platform based on information-technology will be set up which will help in solving their complaints at the district level.”

Antony said, “The PMO and Finance Ministry have assured that the services of ex-servicemen will be utilised in skill development programmes in order to overcome the shortage of trainers.”

In the meeting, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda sought to fix the term of petrol pump allocation for the war widows. 

Shivraj Patil, Governor of Punjab was also present in the meeting.