The government's nod to the long pending demand of paramilitary forces to provide pension to all jawans has come as a relief to 20,000 personnel who would benefit from it.
"The family of a post 2004 recruit, killed in an anti-Naxal operation or a terror strike, would not have got any pension benefit. Why would then a jawan risk his life and join the force when his family would not be taken care of after his death?" Asked a senior official of a paramilitary force.
The forces, especially those involved in counter insurgency and anti-Naxal operations besides those guarding the border heaved a sigh of relief after the Centre recently accepted their demand of restoring the old pension scheme with retrospective effect.
Five years ago, the government had framed rules which did not entitle jawans recruited in central police forces after 2004, to pension benefits.
With the fresh decision, at least 20,000 personnel serving in CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB would be benefited.
The decision was taken even though three services of the Armed Forces were getting the benefits resulting in resentment in the paramilitary forces.
The Sixth Pay Commission, too endorsed the government's move. Directors general of the paramilitary forces led by former CRPF chief V K Joshi wrote to the government stating that such a step would discourage the youth to join the forces and would also lead to demoralisation.
Officials said the real resentment against the move came in 2006, when eight 2004 recruits of CRPF jawans were killed by Naxals.
The force was unable to provide much help to the family because of the government's policy.
According to an estimate done by top officials, the pension scheme that was being undertaken by the government till recently would have led to a huge recruitment problem in the next five years.
"There would have been serious recruitment problem because why would any person join a force when he knows that his death or handicap during his duty would not lead to any benefit to him or his family. Had the government continued with its policy, it would have led to a huge problem," an official said.