Cabinet hikes Siachen hardship allowance for forces

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday announced a hike in hardship allowance for soldiers serving in Siachen, increasing it above the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, briefing media after a meeting of the Cabinet, said the hardship allowance for officers would be increased to Rs 42,500 per month.

The 7th Pay Commission had recommended that it should be increased from present Rs 21,000 to Rs 31,500/month. The forces were unhappy with the decision, as comparatively, a civilian bureaucrat draws 30 per cent of his salary as “hardship allowance”.

For JCOs and Other Ranks, the hardship allowance for Siachen will be Rs 30,000 compared to the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendation of Rs 21,000. The JCOs and ORs were getting Rs 14,000/month as hardship allowance for Siachen at present.

Jaitley also said that for the defence personnel in peace areas, ration money allowance will now be given in “cash” and it will be directly transferred to their bank accounts.

By: ET

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