New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has credited former Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and the government for restoring the facility of giving `rations in kind` for armed forces` officers. The facility was withdrawn by the government in 2017 after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission.
While addressing a seminar of retiring officers, General Rawat announced that the facility of `rations in kind` is starting this month for officers. "There are many claimants for its restart but truth is that the credit goes to former Navy Chief and Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee Admiral Sunil Lanba who pushed the case strongly with the Defence Minister and no individual can take credit," Army sources quoted General Rawat as saying during the seminar.
The Chief also stated that it was Finance Minister and the Defence Minister who finally took a decision to restart the service, the sources said. In August 2017, Lanba had written a strong letter to the then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley highlighting the issues related to armed forces and stressed that the government should restore the ration facility as its withdrawal was not helping in any savings and was likely to create issues in running defence officers` mess.
After the government announced the restoration of the facility, several Army officers have been claiming credit over social media for the restoration of the facility. Sources said that the Chief stated that the intervention by so-called credit claimants only delayed the process due to conflict of interest.
After the facility has been restored, all officers of the Armed Forces including those in peace stations will be getting ration. The provision for the officers, however, continued in the field area. The facility of `ration in kind` also continued for jawans and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs).
The defence officers in peace areas were paid Rs 96 as `ration money allowance` instead of the ration. The money was directly credited to their account.The Chief cited the example of the ongoing court case of Non-functional Upgrade for defence officers saying it has been delayed as some individual had approached courts on their own in the case.