The statement said the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the continuation of Swatantra Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY) during 2017-2020, beyond the 12th Five Year Plan which ended on March 31, 2017.
The approval provides for a monthly Samman Pension to freedom fighters, as a token of respect for their contribution in the national freedom struggle and on their demise, to their eligible dependents — spouses and thereafter, unmarried and unemployed daughters and dependent parents, as per prescribed eligibility norms and procedure.
The financial implication for continuation of SSSY during 2017-2020 would be Rs 2552.93 crore.
Government had introduced the ‘Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners Pension Scheme’ in 1969 to honour the freedom fighters who had been incarcerated in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair.
In 1972, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Independence, a regular scheme for grant of freedom fighters’ pension was introduced. Thereafter, with effect from August 1, 1980, a liberalized scheme — the ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980’ is being implemented.
From the financial year 2017-18 onwards, the nomenclature of the scheme has been changed as ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana’.
Total 1,71,617 freedom fighters and their eligible dependents have been sanctioned the central samman pension so far.
At present 37,356 freedom fighters and their eligible dependent pensioners are covered under this scheme which includes 12,657 freedom fighters and 23,127 dependent spouses and 1,572 daughters.