“The government, while considering the pay commission recommendation, took a different view given the important role of the armed forces. It was decided that ration money allowance should be continued,” said government sources.
Actual “entitled rations” will continue as before for officers in “field” or operational areas, as also for soldiers in both field and peace areas. The government, however, is now giving Rs 96 as daily ration money allowance instead of actual rations to officers in peace stations.
“The cash would be credited directly into the bank account of officers. This will benefit approximately 43,000 officers. There is no change in ration allowance for JCOs and PBORs (personnel below officer rank) numbering more than 9 lakh,” said the government sources.
But the scrapping of actual rations for officers in peace stations from July 1 onwards has led to an uproar in the armed forces, with an Army Colonel even serving a legal notice to defence secretary Sanjay Mitra over the move, as was reported by TOI on Tuesday.
Military officers contend that Rs 96 cannot even buy one square meal a day, leave alone the three meals they were entitled to earlier. “We are not complaining about the government move to stop the fresh and dry rations provided to officers in peace stations. But the compensation has to be much higher than Rs 96,” said a Brigadier.
“This is a figure arrived at erroneously because the Army Service Corps buys rations in bulk and consequently gets them cheap before distributing them to us. But can individual officers buy rations for three meals for only Rs 96 a day?” he said.
Source : timesofindia