India's defence personnel will now be able to 'spice up' their food, after defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman corrected an anomaly in the Seventh Pay Commission and increased the jawans' condiment allowance by more than 30%.

Before the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, jawans were being paid Rs 103.80 as condiment allowance, but when it came into effect, it recommended reducing the amount to Rs 89.78.

Though the reduction was only Rs 14, the decision did not sit well with the jawans as it was felt that the quality of their food may go down.

A condiment is a spice, sauce, or preparation that is added to food to enhance its flavour or complement the dish.

Since the order was being implemented from 1 July, 2017 when the Seventh Pay Commission came into effect, the extra amount paid was also proposed to be deducted from the soldiers’ salary in the month of January-February.

“When the matter was brought to the notice of the defence minister, she called for a meeting with the three services and decided to enhance it to Rs 119.26 per month from Rs 89.78 recommended by the Pay Commission,” defence ministry officials told My Nation.

The issue was resolved by Sitharaman in consultation with the three services, which agreed that the enhanced amount would be able to meet the requirements of the troops.

There have been certain issues with the Seventh Pay Commission, which have been bothering the troops like that of the uniforms for soldiers.

The commission had recommended that the practice of providing uniforms supplied by the ordnance factory board to the jawans be stopped and they be given Rs 10,000 for buying their own uniforms according to their size and fit.

However, there was speculation that the jawans will now have to purchase their own clothing from their salary and that their perks are being curtailed by the government.

The defence ministry denied the reports and said it has now approved the list of 41 items. These items will be a part of the basic uniform for summer and winter, besides various accoutrements like belts, caps and vests. 

While deciding on the dressing items, the ministry has taken into account the rate of uniforms provided by the paramilitary forces in their canteens to their jawans.