One of the key prongs for the welfare of ex-servicemen — the Army Group Insurance Fund (AGIF) — has exposure to toxic IL&FS bonds amounting close to Rs 210 crore. This means that crores worth of insurance premiums, covering all ranks from generals to JCOs and jawans, are at risk of being lost.Recently, officials of the Indian Army met the new board of the IL&FS seeking a solution of this issue.
There are no direct answers on who will pick up the liability.IANS sent a questionnaire to IL&FS, asking whether the AGIF had any exposure to its bonds and what was the quantum involved. Chief Communications Officer, IL&FS group, said, "Thanks for reaching out to us. We would like to decline comments on the same."
Similarly, a questionnaire was sent to the Army PRO Lt Col Mohit Vaishnava and he was also spoken to by IANS as well, but he failed to respond to both. Here is a primer on the AGIF, from the Army's own literature on the subject and a construct of how it is funded.Under the banner of Soldiers2ndLife, the AGIF explainer is succinct.Maturity Benefits:
The benefit, which is the accumulation of the saving element of the amount contributed by members along with interest and bonus, is paid on discharge/release of a serviceman. The maturity amount is also paid along with death benefits to the next of kin in case of death of any member. A member can withdraw 50 per cent from the maturity benefit after 15 years of service for the purpose of education/marriage of wards. In addition, a member can withdraw up to 90 per cent of the maturity amount for repair/renovation of house or for the purpose of conveyance during the last two years of service before superannuation.Insurance:
Insurance benefits to the families of those Army personnel who may die while in service is Rs 50 lakh for officers and Rs 25 lakh for JCOs/OR. The monthly subscription is Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500 respectively.Extended Insurance (EI):
The Army Group Insurance Fund Extended Insurance (EI) Scheme provides insurance cover to servicemen after leaving service. It provides Rs 6 lakh for officers and Rs 3 lakh for personnel below officer rank (PBOR) for a period of 26 years after retirement or 75 years of age, whichever is earlier. The amount is received by the family of the ex-serviceman in case of his death. The amount has been recently revised and is now Rs 10 lakh for officers and Rs 5 lakh for PBOR for all those who joined the scheme after January 1, 2014.
For those who joined earlier, the amount will remain at the earlier rate of Rs 6 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for officers and PBOR respectively.Disability Cover:
This concerns an individual who becomes disabled out of service prematurely due to injury or disease. The officers and JCOs/OR with 100 per cent disability will get an amount of Rs 25 lakh and Rs 12.5 lakh respectively. This amount gets proportionately reduced for lower element of disability upto 20 per cent.
An ex gratia disability allowance is also granted by AGIF in case a member with 100% disability has been recommended a constant attendant.AGIF Scholarship Scheme: