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Military Officers Get More Financial Powers

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In a first, the Centre has given financial powers of up to Rs 200 crore to military officers below the level of vice-chief to empower the armed forces to make big-ticket capital procurement and cut down on procedural delays.

While financial powers of up to Rs 200 crore have been given to 3-star officers at the service headquarters level, the Centre has also enhanced financial powers up to Rs 100 crore for military commanders who are heading the field formations.

This is the first time such powers have been given below the level of vice-chiefs in view of the emerging security challenges, officials said.

The decision has been taken as India looks at ramping up its defence capabilities in view of new challenges over the last 10 months as military tensions with China had sparked a war-like situation even though a disengagement process is in place now.

The Union Cabinet approved enhanced delegation of financial powers under capital procurement to levels below vice-chief of armed forces for the first time.

The Ministry of Defence has said as per the approval, under Other Capital Procurement Procedure (OCPP) of Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020, financial powers up to Rs 100 crore has been delegated to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) at Services Command and Regional Commanders, Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

Powers of up to Rs 200 crore have been delegated to Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Strategy, (a new post created recently), MGS (Master General Sustenance), COM (Chief of Material), AOM (Air Officer Maintenance), DCIDS (Deputy Chief Integrated Defence Staff) and ADG ICG (Additional Director General Indian Coast Guard).

Enhanced powers are expected to speed up capital procurement as it will cut down official procedures. More importantly, enhanced powers at the field formation-level will be a big boost for defence procurements as it will allow military commanders to make quick decisions based on their needs and emerging challenges.

“This delegation of powers within service headquarters and up to command level for items of Capital nature such as overhauls, refits, upgrades etc. will enhance the utility of existing assets and will facilitate faster processing and implementation of projects for modernisation of armed forces to meet the security challenges of the nation,” MoD said.

The Cabinet has also approved enhanced financial powers in the Make-I category under which government funding up to 70% of the prototype development cost is available for Design & Development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof.

Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS), Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS), and Director General Coast Guard (DG(CG)) have now been given powers to sanction government support up to Rs 50 crore towards cost of prototype development.

Financial powers have also been enhanced for other competent financial authorities under ‘Make-I’ in line with the government’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ for a robust defence industrial ecosystem.

Courtesy – Indiatoday

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