FM grants Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to families of Central Excise Inspectors killed in Mumbai blasts but more needs to be done
By TIOL News Service
NEW DELHI, JULY 19, 2006 : IN a late evening development, the Ministry of Finance has announced the ex gratia payment of Rs five lakh to each of the family of the two Central Excise Inspectors who, in a sudden and rude twist of fate, lost their lives in the Mumbai train blasts. Shasi Shekhar and Sanjay Samant, both young and dynamic officers of the Thane II Central Excise Commissionerate, were caught in the bomb-triggered explosion of the local train while coming back home.
The MoF has also announced some relief for the injured officers. All medical expenses incurred for their treatment will be borne by the CBEC. Two Superintendents who suffered permanent disability have been given ex-gratia payments of Rs 1 lakh each. The remaining injured have been given Rs. 25,000 each.
Credit indeed goes to the Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, and the CBEC Chairman, Mr V P Singh, for cutting down red tape and taking quick decision to provide quick succour to the families. Doubtless, no worldly things can fill the void caused by the diabolic act of terror to both the families but it would certainly provide them some temporary cushion.
Going by the fact that both the Inspectors are survived by young wives and their children, TIOL would rather like to appeal to the Finance Minister that more than the money they need a permanent support system to raise their children and live a life of dignity. And it can be achieved only if the CBEC offers them a job in the department as per their education. Otherwise, it has been seen in the past that the victims' families, which get handsome ex gratia, sometimes fall victims to greedy relatives as well. To avoid such a situation, the Finance Minister and the CBEC entire Board may prove that they have a large heart and, it does sink whenever somebody from their large Revenue family suffers untimely demise. It would indeed set an exemplary tradition for the Revenue Services to exhibit rare feeling of solidarity with the hapless families.
In fact, one may not be asking for too much if both the Revenue Boards are reminded of their generosity displayed during the tsunami, and they may consider giving 1/10th of one day salary of each of the person working in the Department. This hapless incident has taken place within the family for the Revenue Services and, it is generally said that an incident in vicinity does affect more than the one happening at a distant place. Let's hope a new example is set by the Revenue Boards at least for the posterity which is likely to witness much more skirmishes near home!