An Army restructuring, aimed at reducing its strength by 1.5 lakh men, is expected to save ₹5,000 crore to ₹7,000 crore a year in revenue expenditure, according to defence sources.
The progress of four independent studies under way will be reviewed by Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat at a conference with the seven Army Commanders on Tuesday.
“The idea is to place the studies for a threadbare discussion at the Army Commanders’ Conference next month and finalise the modalities and roll out the plan by November-December,” a defence source said.
The studies being carried out by separate groups with seven or eight officers each are tasked with looking into the Army headquarters' restructuring, cutting down the strength, cadre review of officers and review of terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks.
Force cut in a phased manner
The force reduction, which will be carried out in a phased manner, will also add at least 20% to the existing capital expenditure of the budget, the source added.
The 1.3-million strong Army is facing an increasing burden of revenue expenditure and pensions, leaving very little funds for modernisation.
The Army is also mulling over doing away with the rank of Brigadier and brigade headquarters as part of the officer cadre review. This is expected to free up significant number of officers who will be available for field duties. The Army headquarters too is likely to see a major churn, with several departments doing overlapping functions merged or off-loaded away from the headquarters.
Several attempts have been made in the past to restructure the force, but this time it is at a much broader level to undertake a radical reform, one official observed.