Defence Ministry decides to pay uniform allowance as per 7th Pay Commission Recommendation

In line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, the Defence Ministry has taken the decision to pay the uniform allowance.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday assured the armed forces that there will be no shortcoming in efforts to provide them all dues and facilities.

“In a first-ever exercise after independence, the Ministry of Defence, in consultation with the Army, has decided to reform the Indian Army in a planned manner,” Sitharaman said.

“The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), ORs (Other Ranks) and civilians,” Sitharaman,” she said.

Sitharaman said a contract for procurement of nearly 2 lakh bullet-proof jackets with best of the class specifications is underway, while in order to ensure faster decision-making, be it for the day to day requirements of the troops or the ammunitions, greater powers have been delegated to the force headquarters and other lower functionaries.

“All available funds are being put to optimum utilisation so that there is no shortage of essential items,” she said.

According to her, in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, the Defence Ministry has taken the decision to pay the uniform allowance and clarity has been brought in with respect to what is covered within the ambit of the allowance and what clothing items will be provided by the government.

“From the Ministry of Defence, our endeavour would be to provide all dues and facilities to our brave soldiers who guard the nation and ensure peace and thus, prosperity to the countrymen. Let me assure you that there shall be no shortcoming in this effort,” the Defence minister said in a customary broadcast to the armed forces on the eve of 72nd Independence Day.

“Major reforms include optimisation of signals establishments, restructuring of repair echelons, redeployment of ordnance echelons, better utilisation of supply and transport echelons and animal transport units, besides closure of military farms and Army postal establishments in peace locations,” she said.

Steps are also being taken towards enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army and improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps. This, she said, restructuring is aimed at enhancing the combat capability of the Army in a manner that the officers, JCOs and ORs will be used for improving the operational preparedness.

She said, the government had taken a “historic decision” to implement One Rank, One Pension (OROP) for defence personnel in November 2015 and had promised to pay arrears in four instalments.

OROP was one of the long-pending demands of the defence forces.

“I can say that all OROP arrears have been cleared now with over 10,788 crore rupees spent. More than 65.81 lakh defence pensioners have benefited from this,” she said.

The Liberalised Family Pension, which was available to army personnel working on the Line of Control (LoC) or International Border (IB) along Pakistan border, has now been extended to the personnel working along the Line of Actual Control with China as well, she said.

The government has enhanced the monetary allowances for the gallantry award winners, she said, adding that to recognise and honour the bravery of soldiers, the National War Memorial is under construction near the India Gate in New Delhi, which will be inaugurated soon.

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