In order to save money for buying new weapon systems, the Army headquarters had issued a policy a few months ago which mandated that during temporary duty visits to other locations, the officers should stay in the army guest rooms
New Delhi: In view of the discontentment expressed by officers over a policy which mandates them to choose service guest rooms over hotels during outstation official duty, the Army has come up with a new directive. However, the officers are still not happy as complications still persist. They said that the changes are like old wine in a new bottle.
"Despite the new directive by the Army headquarters stating that the policy of guest rooms does not intend to supersede the entitlement of officers to stay in five star or other hotels during official duty, the junior officers are not happy about it. The complications of getting a guest room during a visit to outstation locations for temporary duties or deployments are still there," a lieutenant colonel-rank officer told MyNation.
What does the policy say?
In order to save money for buying new weapon systems, the Army headquarters had issued a policy a few months ago which mandated that during temporary duty visits to other locations, the officers should stay in the army guest rooms. It further said that they should avail facilities of private hotels only if these guest rooms were not available.
A significant number of junior officers from the rank of lieutenant to lieutenant colonel were not happy with the new policy as they feel that the standard of guest rooms was not up to the mark. They also pointed out that this luxury is still available to their counterparts in the Air Force and the Navy.
As per the old policy, the officers had to get a Non Availability Certificate (NAC) from the military station headquarters in absence of which the auditors were not clearing their bills for a stay in private hotels. Then a senior officer had to write a letter to the Army Headquarters seeking clarification on the matter.
An officer said that according to the new policy there will be no discrimination on basis of rank while allotting guest rooms to officers. However, this is not practical as the formations and individual officers-in-charge would definitely give preference to senior officers.
An officer said that though the Army has launched a new application called ARMAAN to facilitate the booking of guest rooms, it will take a long time for the force to bring the standard of guest rooms to satisfactory standards.
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had recently stated that the step would also help in curbing corruption as a few officers were also involved in monetary exchanges during stays in private hotels.
Rawat was referring to some cases where civilian officers were caught with unaccounted cash by the CBI.
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Last Updated Dec 19, 2018, 4:58 PM IST