The clarification came amid widespread anguish among Army officials serving in peace stations against a recommendation by the 7th Pay Commission to scrap free rations to them.
Armed forces officers serving in forward bases will continue to get their free ration without any change while those posted in peace stations will be provided the benefit in cash, government sources said on Wednesday.
A senior army official recently had even sent a legal notice to the defence secretary over the scrapping of free rations to those posted in peace stations. The sources said the cash would be credited directly into the bank accounts of the officers and the decision will benefit nearly 43,000 officers.
The 7th Pay Commission in its recommendations on pay and allowances of the armed forces had said that the provision of free rations and the grant of ration money allowance to officers of defence forces posted in peace areas should be withdrawn.
However, the government while considering this recommendation took a different view, given the important role of the armed forces, the sources said.
“While those in forward stations, will continue to get their free ration without any change, officers posted in peace stations will be provided this benefit in cash. There is no change in ration allowance for (JCOs) junior commissioned officers and PBORs (Personnel Below officer rank) numbering more than 9 lakh.
As far as an ongoing case in this regard in the tribunal is concerned, the government will give the rationale behind the decision, in the judicial process as and when a notice is received, said the sources.