More fiscal powers for command & deputy chiefs

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved enhanced delegation of financial powers under capital procurement to deputy chiefs and command chiefs of the armed forces. This will make upgrades, modernisation and refit quicker in the armed forces.

This is the first time that financial powers have been devolved below the vice chief level for specified items of capital nature to meet emerging security challenges, said the Ministry of Defence.Orders up to Rs 200 crore have been delegated to Deputy Chief of Army Staff (CD & S)/ MGS (Master General Sustenance), COM (Chief of Material), Air Officer Maintenance, Deputy Chief Integrated Defence Staff and Additional Director General Indian Coast Guard.

Financial powers up to Rs  100 crore have been delegated to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at Services Command and regional commanders, Coast Guard.

There are a total of seven commands each in Army and Air Force and three commands in the Navy. The Coast Guard has two regional commands. The defence ministry had enhanced the financial powers of the three vice chiefs from Rs 100 crore to Rs 500 crore in 2018.

Both serving and retired officers called it a good step. “Commands will not be required to reach the headquarters. The directorates will be able to process the cases up to the mentioned limits. Earlier, these needed approvals once the cost crossed a certain limit, leading to delays,” said an Army officer.