Central Reserve Police Force personnel are not going to get their monthly “ration allowance” by the Modi government as a result of the economic crisis that the government denies, according to a report by The Telegraph. This is surprising as national security has always been a favourite topic for the ruling BJP during elections.
CRPF is the largest paramilitary force with over 3 lakh personnel. Each of them is paid a ₹3000 ration allowance along with their monthly salary. According to officials, troops spend this allowance at their camps’ mess and canteens.
According to The Telegraph, CRPF has sent the information across country saying the allowance will not be paid with the September salary as the Home Ministry has not released tranche of ₹800 crore despite a reminder in July, August and this month.
“This is the first time the ration allowance has been stopped. We spoke to ministry officials last week about the pending money and they mentioned the faltering economy,” a senior CRPF officer at the Delhi headquarters said to The Telegraph, adding that the ministry had not cited any official reason.
He also said that the allowance helps the troops to buy food on their own in the conflict-ridden areas.
“The decision to withdraw the allowance goes against the Prime Minister’s claims of strengthening the forces to keep them in fighting shape”, the official further added, according to The Telegraph.
CRPF is fighting in one of the most dangerous conflict zones such as Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and the Moist belt.
As per The Telegraph, the internal communication said that the force has repeatedly requested the Home Ministry on July 22, August 8 and September 9 for the allotment of additional fund which amounts 800 crores to provide troops with the ration allowance.
“As no reserve fund under COR (Cash on Reserve) is presently available, therefore it is not feasible to draw ration money allowance from the pay of September 2019. Hence, stop drawal of ration money allowance from the pay of Sept ’19 till further orders. Please inform all concerned personnel accordingly,” the internal communication has been quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
CRPF deputy inspector-general (intelligence) Moses Dhinakaran said to The Telegraph that the ration allowance was raised slightly this year which eventually resulted in depletion of funds.
“It will be resumed once we get the additional funds from the home ministry,” he said.
“Most personnel got panicky after learning about the stoppage. It’s very difficult to keep up the morale of troops posted in hostile conditions under these circumstances,” a senior CRPF officer said. “Like the army, a paramilitary force marches on its stomach.”
Armed forces personnel receive free food unlike their paramilitary counterparts.