The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday said reports on the Indian Army putting on hold temporary allowances to soldiers because of insufficient funds were baseless and said the hype created around it was unnecessary.
The ministry said the shortfalls were only temporary and adequate funds are allocated under all heads, including the heads for temporary and permanent duty, PTI reported, quoting from a defence ministry statement.
“At times, however, the allocated funds to specific head, which is based on predicted or envisaged expenditure, may fall short of the actual expenditure,” the ministry said in a statement. “These shortfalls are only temporary and are resolved through routine reappropriation. Additional funds will be provided if necessity arises.”
In a tweet, the ministry said “the hype created is unnecessary and needs to be avoided by all concerned”.
Media reports on Tuesday said the Indian Army had put on hold temporary travel allowances paid to soldiers for tours and training sessions. It had quoted a notice the Army’s accounts division had put up on its website. However, the notice was soon deleted, according to Hindustan Times.
The Army has a strength of 1.3 million personnel and at least 1,000 officers are on the move or on “temporary duty” to attend courses, planning conferences or participating in exercises, among other things, at any given point of time, according to PTI.
Overall transportation and other allowances for soldiers cost the Army around Rs 4,000 crore annually. But the principal comptroller of defence accounts has so far distributed only Rs 3,200 crore. An additional Rs 800 crore has been allocated to tide over the crisis, but more will be required, an unidentified officer said.