Armed Forces Seek higher allowance for posting in hardship areas
The armed forces are seeking an enhancement of allowances for their personnel posted in “hardship” areas on the pattern of high-altitude Siachen in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Many of the areas where the armed forces operate are hardship areas. So what one is looking at is an enhancement in allowances,” a defence official said.
While officials agree that allowances for other areas cannot be matched with that of the Siachen, they are looking at an increase in the 7th Pay Commission which is currently assessing the situation.
At present, a soldier posted in Siachen gets around Rs 8,000 per month as hardship allowance, which is the highest.
At present the allowances vary from area to area. Those involved in counter insurgency operations in northeast and Kashmir get an ‘insurgency’ allowance while those posted in higher altitude get other allowances.
The official said the Joint Services Memorandum, submitted about two months ago, has raised a number of expectations before the 7th Central Pay Commission.
Incidentally, the Pay Commission is on a four-day visit to Ladakh region, particularly world’s highest battlefield at Siachen glacier to meet soldiers performing their duties in challenging operational conditions.
The Commission headed by Justice A K Mathur and comprising former IAS officer Vivek Rae, full-time member Meena Agarwal, Secretary and 14 other members are vising Ladakh from October 12 to 15.
They were briefed on the peculiarities of difficult terrain, inclement weather and challenging operational conditions under which our soldiers are performing duties in various parts of Ladakh, including Siachen glacier.
The Commission members also visited remote posts in Eastern Ladakh and Kargil. They also landed at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), the scene of last year’s face-off between Indian and Chinese troops
They interacted with soldiers from the Air Force, ITBP, BRO, and representatives of the DRDO.