NEW DELHI: Enhanced financial powers granted by the Ministry of Defence to the forces helped them in the fast-tracking purchase of weapons, ammunition, equipment, spares, electronic stores and medical equipment.
The number of cases which were earlier sent to Ministry of Defence for approval are now being approved at the individual service headquarters of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Apart from Service Headquarters (SHQs), this has led to cases also getting finalised at the command level and at lower formation levels in lesser time.
MoD did a review in July, 2019.
“In the review it was found that during 2015-17, the Army forwarded 132 cases to the MoD for approval. This number was 327 cases between April 2012 and March 2015. In the Force around 80-85% of the contracted value is now getting sanctioned at the Air HQ itself,” enumerated the MoD in its official release.
On capital side, the AoNs by SHQ have gone up substantially from 21% in 2015-17 to 67% in 2019. Since three years no capital budget has been surrendered, added the Ministry.
Talking about capital procurement, the ministry said, “The Services now have powers to accord Acceptance of Necessity for individual schemes costing up to Rs 300 crore, a sharp jump in two stages from Rs 50 crore during 2015-17 to Rs 150 crore during 2017-19 and to Rs 300 crore in 2019-20. Capital expense is the money used to procure new arms/equipment.”
Since October 2018 the services, on the revenue side, are authorised to clear proposals amounting up to Rs 500 crore at their level. The earlier limit was of Rs 200 crore.