The more than seven-decade-old practice of making advance payments to the jawans of the Indian Army and other personnel below officers' rank will be replaced with the monthly salary system by the end of this year.

Up until now, the men were paid advances as per their salary entitlement and their accounts, which were maintained on Individual Running Ledger Account.

This practice was introduced in 1939 to ensure that families of jawans living in small towns and villages, were not financially affected while their men battled the enemy during World War II. The families received money (amount specified by the jawan) by money order while the jawans received a part of it if they wished from the imprest holders in different army units.

Sources in the Defence Accounts Department told The Hindu that about Rs. 1,500 crore is disbursed as salary to about 1.2 million jawans and other personnel below officers' rank in the Indian Army every month.

“So far, about 25 per cent of the jawans in the Army have been covered under the monthly payment,” Nand Kishore, Controller General of Defence Accounts, told presspersons on Tuesday after launching the monthly payment scheme for Army Service Corps-Bangalore, Madras Engineering Group, Bangalore, and Maratha Light Infantry, Belgaum, whose personnel comprise about 10 per cent of the Army.

The process of converting salary accounts to the monthly payment scheme, he said, had commenced from Lucknow in August 2009.

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