Army’s junior officers and jawans gain from new canteen store policy aimed to bring in ‘parity’
- The Indian army has revised its policy for the purchase of four wheelers from the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) which sets vehicle purchasing limit at ₹12 lakh for officers.
- General Bipin Rawat, attributed the decision to budgetary constraints and step to bring parity among Commissioned Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks (ORs).
- The new ceiling has also set the engine limit for officers at 2500 CC and for JCOs and other ranks at 1400 CC.
Earlier there was no limit on the purchase of four wheelers from the CSD canteens, but the new rules have set a limit due to which expenditure on cars more than ₹12 lakh, excluding GST is no more permissible for the officers. The new expenditure limit for Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and jawans of other ranks ₹6.5 lakh including GST.
Speaking at a seminar of retiring officers, on June 27 the Army Chief
Explaining the reason for the policy changes, General Rawat said that the Parliament sanctions a fixed amount for CSD under miscellaneous heads for buying essential items to be provided to the army personnel including four wheelers, and high value car purchases by officers leaves less opportunities for JCOs and other ranks.
The Quartermaster General’s branch of the Indian army, which is responsible for planning, provisioning and issue of supplies to the Army, last month, issued an order that placed restrictions on the expenditure and capacity of the cars that can now be purchased from the canteen.
The new orders started functioning from June 1.
The new policy
The new rules Restrictions over capacity of the engines have also been applied. Commissioned officers at most can buy cars with 2500 CC, whereas for JCOs and other ranks the limit is 1400 CC.
Junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and jawans, will now be allowed to buy a four wheeler once in service and once after retirement. The time in between purchases is reduced from ten to eight years. This will further benefit non-commissioned officers who have high aspirations to buy four wheelers, as per reports.
The policy has also made changes in the frequency of the purchases. Officers can now buy two cars in eight years which was four years before the order was issued.
“Earlier they could buy any top vehicle model they wanted. Now, they can’t. And the frequency of buying still remains the same for them, except for the gap between two vehicle purchases,” said an official.
The official also said that the decision on placing a price ceiling was taken in view of the ‘larger picture’. The government provides 50% GST rebate on all CSD items once price negotiations are complete which provides the army personnel with cash saving benefits.
“The chief had also said that if someone has the capability to buy a luxury car, then he can do it from the civil market,” another official said.