Meat ration for Indian soldiers hiked

July 2nd, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Indian soldiers will now get to eat better quantity non-vegetarian meal on par with their officers, with the defence ministry approving a higher ration of meat products.

The ministry has increased the scale of mutton or chicken quota for soldiers in the 1.13 million-strong army to 180 grams a day from the existing 110, ministry officials said here.

This new diet will be available for all soldiers, be they posted in high altitude, desert, plains, field or peace stations.

“Keeping the physical nature of their duties and to enable them to get wholesome non-vegetarian diet, army chief General V.K. Singh had taken up the case for increasing the meat ration scale in February and this has been approved,” the official said.

The decision comes within months of Defence Minister A.K. Antony hiking the diet quota of fruits and eggs for soldiers, bringing them on par with officers, who are just about 35,000 in number in the army.

The soldiers now get two eggs per day — like officers.

The government has already authorised special rations to soldiers and officers posted in high altitude areas like Siachen, Saltoro Ridge and Kargil.

These include branded whole wheat flour, branded salt and ready-to-eat vegetarian and non-vegetarian retort pouches.

These decisions come in the backdrop of a Comptroller and Auditor General report in 2010 that slammed the army’s ration supply chain management system that had led to the soldiers being served stale, sub-standard food items well past their consumable date.

It also hinted at the existence of a cartel of suppliers hand-in-glove with the army officers responsible for procurements and massive corruption in the supply chain.

In recent years, the army has beem hit by scams involving food items such as meat, egg, wheat flour and pulses. Investigations have indicted senior officers including those in the rank of lieutenant generals.

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