The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), whose ’s 94,261 personnel guard the 2,450-km-long border with Nepal and Bhutan, has told its formations that it has “hardly sufficient” money to pay salaries in January and February, The Telegraph reported. An internal communication of the SSB has cited “paucity of funds” to deny release of the jawans’ allowances, even Children’s Education Allowance and Leave Travel Concession. This unveils the true face of a government that uses the phrase ‘national security’ at the drop of a hat.
The SSB communication, dated January 23, comes at a time when the Narendra Modi-led government is in denial about the worsening economic situation. This is the second time in four months that a paramilitary force has been asked to put a freeze on allowances. Narendra Modi loves to celebrate festivals with jawans on borders, often donning Army uniforms. One wonders then why the jawans have to repeatedly bear the brunt of what is clearly incapable handling of the economy by those in power.
“Last September, the CRPF had told its 3 lakh personnel they would not be paid their monthly “ration allowance” of Rs 3,600 because the home ministry had ignored three reminders for funds. After The Telegraph reported the matter, a controversy broke out and the home ministry released the money in October,” The Telegraph report said.
The circular read:
“It is intimated that available funds under code head- 01 salary is hardly sufficient to clear the regular salary bills for the month of January and February, 2020. Therefore due to paucity of funds it is requested that available funds under code head 01- salary be earmarked for regular salary bills for 02 months i.e January & February-2020 only and no other arrears of pay & allowances, ACP/MACP and CEA/LTC/Leave Encashment Claims should be preferred…It is requested not to entertain RPT (repeat) not to entertain any other claims except regular bills of January & February-2020. This issue with the approval of the IG (admn) FHQ (Force Headquarters), New Delhi.”
A senior home ministry official told The Telegraph: “The circular is bound to demoralise the personnel who have been deployed in the most difficult terrain to guard the country’s borders.”
SSB personnel also help in intelligence gathering and with internal security operations in areas affected by Maoist violence, Jammu and Kashmir and the Bodo territories of Assam.