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IndiaDefence Minister to get more ‘financial power’

Defence Minister to get more ‘financial power’

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Minister to get more ‘financial power'

New Delhi : Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's purchasing power has been increased four times from Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore for a single defence acquisition and together with the finance minister, he can now clear the proposals up to Rs 3,000 crore without sending them to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the Prime Minister.

The defence ministry sources said the decision taken by Prime Minister Modi in a recent CCS meeting will speed up the defence deals to meet the urgent and critical requirements of the Armed Forces. Till now, all the defence deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore had to be cleared by the CCS, which also included the union ministers for defence, home, finance and external affairs.

The defence and finance minister together could clear the deals up to Rs 1,000 crore so far, but the two ministers” power has been now trebled. Almost 60% of the defence deals are under R 3,000 crore and hence the procurements will not be held up because of the infrequent meetings of the CCS which will deal with only major purchases.

Senior Congress leader and former union minister M Veerappa Moily, however, said more powers to the defence minister are meaningless when as much as Rs 7,000 crore meant for the capital expenditure on procurements had to be surrendered in the 2015-16 . At an AICC press briefing on Friday, he said the government is rather slowing down the modernisation of the military by holding back procurements of weapons and other armaments.

The ministry sources, however, insist that the new financial rules will save at least a few months in the defence acquisitions as the defence minister will be able to on his own give nod to contracts for several weapon systems, specially for tank ammunition and small arms requirement such as rifles as also small range missiles, and cut down the time taken in getting the CCS clearance.

The new financial rules, however, make it clear that they could be used only for th capital acquisitions, which means for only the new weapon systems for the Armed Forces, the sources added.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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