Ration Money Allowance should be exempt from Income Tax – 7th CPC Report
Ration Money Allowance (RMA) : Ration Money Allowance (RMA) is paid to all personnel of Defence forces and nongazetted personnel of CAPFs, Delhi Police, IB, A&N police and such personnel of Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBn) as are posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and don’t dine in the mess. The existing rate of this allowance is ?95.52 per day for Non-Gazetted personnel and Rs.79.93 per day for Gazetted personnel.
There are demands to extend RMA to gazetted officers of CAPFs in line with Defence forces. Demands have also been received from some CAPFs that RMA should be exempted from the purview of income tax.
Analysis and Recommendations : Ration Money Allowance is revised periodically by Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home for their personnel. Hence, it is proposed that status quo be maintained regarding the rates of this allowance.
However, regarding the admissibility of RMA, PBORs of CAPFs and Indian Coast Guard should be eligible to draw RMA irrespective of the place of posting (except when in receipt of the Detachment Allowance). Presently, officers of SSB who are posted in field areas at altitudes of less than 7000 feet are not eligible for RMA. This restriction of 7000 feet should be removed.
Regarding income tax exemption of RMA, the Commission, as part of its general approach, has refrained from making recommendations involving income tax. However, looking into the unique service conditions of CAPFs, the Commission is of the view that since RMA is granted in lieu of free rations, it should be exempt from income tax.
It is further recommended that the provision of free rations and the grant of Ration Money Allowance to officers of Defence forces posted in peace areas should be withdrawn.