NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has enhanced the financial decision-making powers of the Army, Navy and IAF vice-chiefs by “five times” to ensure that the armed forces can build up ammunition stocks and undertake other projects through revenue procurements.

The vice-chiefs will now be able to take decisions up to a limit of Rs 500 crore as “competent financial authorities” under this greater delegation of financial powers. “Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman took this step to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the armed forces and enhance their operational preparedness,” said an MoD official on Thursday.

Incidentally, contracts worth around Rs 19,000 crore for ammunition, spares, engines and other reserves have been finalised over the last two years, mainly with Russia and Israel, to ensure adequate stocks for at least 10 days of “intense war-fighting”, as was earlier reported by TOI. It was after the terror attack at Uri in 2016 that the government jolted out of its slumber on finding that the armed forces had crippling operational shortages of ammunition.



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