On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has officially delegated substantial financial powers to the Indian Armed Forces, according to a Ministry of Defence press release. The increase in financial autonomy will allow the army, navy, and air force to undertake projects to improve perimeter security of sensitive military installations. The Vice-Chiefs of all three armed forces have been empowered to place orders, procure equipment, and carry out civil works without seeking further approvals from the MoD for the same.
To further ensure the increased financial powers are utilized appropriately, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has also prescribed strict timelines to ensure that defence projects are undertaken on priority to ensure the security of India’s critical defence assets.
India’s military modernization has often been mired by elongated bureaucratic procedures that regularly cause delays in procurement and deployment of military equipment to armed forces personnel. This development circumvents the bureaucratic process and allows the three armed forces to procure equipment in accordance with immediate and future requirements.
The delegation of financial powers will, however, not include larger defence assets such as aircraft and submarines and is most likely to cover procurement of ammunition, small arms weapons, and body armour amongst other assets. The delegation of powers will also allow the proper maintenance and upgradation of military bases in sensitive areas.