The government has more than doubled risk and hardship allowance for army men in Siachen and hiked the same for security forces deployed for counter insurgency operations and in Naxal-hit areas. The increased payments are among the higher allowances the government notified in the Gazette yesterday, days after the Cabinet approved with minor modifications the recommendations made by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC). The increased allowances are part of the bid to make up for some of the hardships and risks security and paramilitary forces face to protect the country from external and internal threats.
Rates of Siachen Allowance paid to soldiers deployed at the highest battlefield in the world have been increased to Rs 30,000 from Rs 14,000 per month, and for officers, it has gone up to Rs 42,500 a month from Rs 21,000 for extreme risks and hardships. The High Altitude Allowance has been raised to Rs 2700– 25,000 per month, from Rs 810-16,800. The Counter Insurgency Operations (CI Ops) allowance has gone up to Rs 6,000–16,900 per month, from Rs 3,000-11,700, an official statement said here.
The Command Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) allowance paid to CRPF personnel deployed in Naxal-hit areas has been stepped up to Rs 17,300-25,000, from Rs 8,400-16,800 per month. While the CPC had recommended the abolition of the Ration Money Allowance (RMA) and free ration to defence officers in peace areas, the government has not accepted it and RMA will be credited in bank accounts, the statement said.
While the government has also decided against merging of the Rs 4,500 a month Technical Allowance (tier-II) for security personnel, it will review the courses. Similarly, MARCOS and the Chariot Allowance paid to marine commandos has been increased to Rs 17,300-25,000 per month, from Rs 10,500-15,750. Also, the conditionality of 12 hours has been reduced to four hours for the Sea Going Allowance and rates increased to Rs 6,000–10,500, from Rs 3,000-7,800 per month.
Modified Field, Field, and Highly Active Field Area Allowances have seen an increase to Rs 6,000-16,900 per month from Rs 1,200-12,600 while the Flying Allowance has been raised to Rs 17,300-25,000, from Rs 10,500-15,750 per month, and extended to BSF Air Wing too. The Territorial Army Allowance has gone up to Rs 1,000- 2,000, from Rs 175-450 per month, while additional free railway warrant (Leave Travel Concession) has been extended to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
Other allowances that have seen similar jump include aeronautical allowance which has now been extended to the Indian Coast Guard, Higher Qualification Incentive for Defence Personnel, Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer Allowance, Ceilings of Deputation (Duty) Allowance for Defence Personnel, Detachment Allowance, and Para Jump Instructor Allowance. “Housing provisions for PBORs (Personnel below Officer Rate) of Army and their families residing at other stations significantly improved and linked to HRA, a process simplified,” the statement added.