The cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took important decisions on Wednesday amid long-standing tension at the border of China and Jammu and Kashmir along the border with East Ladakh. The cabinet has given additional powers to senior military officers for capital purchases of up to Rs 200 crore. The officer in the rank of deputy chief of the Army Staff, created in December last year, will have the powers of this additional power. After this decision, officials will be able to approve projects up to Rs 200 crore.
People aware of the matter said that this will be the first time that financial powers have been given to officers below the Vice Chief level. After this decision of the government, the army will benefit greatly in the ongoing dispute with China and Pakistan. The Cabinet approved financial powers of up to 200 crores for officers of one category and 100 crores for officers of the second category, including military officers of the rank of Commander-in-Chief (three-star officer in chief of various Commands). Huh.
The officers, who are empowered to spend up to Rs 200 crore, include the Chief of Naval Staff, Air Officer (Maintenance), Deputy Chief of Integrated Defense Staff and Additional Director General of Coast Guard. The Ministry of Defense has said that the distribution of powers has been done in respect of items of capital nature from Army Headquarters to Command level, including maintenance, upgradation, repair etc. This will enable faster implementation of projects at the present time.
On this decision of the Cabinet, former Director General of Military Powers (Retd) Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia said that giving powers of financial powers is a welcome step, as it will help in capacity development, increase operational readiness. In addition, the cabinet has also approved increased financial powers in the Make-I category, under which funding of up to 70% of the prototype development cost will be available for the design and development of equipment, systems and platform upgrades.
In addition, the Chiefs of Staff Committee or CISC, Deputy Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the Director General of the Coast Guard have now been empowered to approve up to 50 crores. The officials said in the statement that under the accepted proposal, the General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-Yi), Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC) in the command and regional command of the armies -In-C) has been given the financial power of capital purchase of projects up to Rs 100 crore.