The Central Reserve Police Force on Sunday admitted that its personnel had not been paid the ration money allowance for September, as The Telegraph reported earlier in the day, but denied there was any crisis.

In an internal communication dated September 13, the paramilitary force said the allowance would not be paid as the home ministry had not released Rs 800 crore for the purpose despite reminders on July 22, August 8 and September 9.

“This is the first time the ration allowance has been stopped,” an unidentified senior CRPF officer at the force’s Delhi headquarters told The Telegraph. “We spoke to ministry officials last week about the pending money and they mentioned the faltering economy.”

The officer said the allowance “helps personnel to keep themselves fit for fighting militants and Maoists”. He added: “The decision to withdraw the allowance goes against the prime minister’s claims of strengthening the forces to keep them in fighting shape.”

CRPF Deputy Inspector-General (Intelligence) Moses Dhinakaran dismissed the concerns. He said the allowance was increased slightly this year and the fund got exhausted in July after arrears were paid. “It will be resumed once we get the additional funds from the home ministry,” he told the newspaper.

Later in the day, in a detailed statement, Dhinakaran explained that Rs 22,194 of ration money arrears were paid to two lakh personnel who receive it. This was equivalent to six months of ration money at current rates.

“Thus they have sufficient funds for messing,” he added. “Hence the contention that jawans have run out of ration money is baseless and preposterous and there is no crisis whatsoever. The RMA for September will also be paid shortly. CRPF remains ever committed to the welfare of its jawans.”

Unlike the paramilitary forces, armed forces personnel and those part of paramilitary outfits under the Army’s operational control – Assam Rifles and the National Security Guard – receive free rations.

“Most personnel got panicky after learning about the stoppage,” a senior CRPF officer told The Telegraph. “It is very difficult to keep up the morale of troops posted in hostile conditions under these circumstances. Like the Army, a paramilitary force marches on its stomach.”

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