Army Vice-Chief can make emergency buys

To address critical shortages in defence preparedness, the government has given the Vice-Chief of Army Staff full financial powers for emergency procurement of critical spares and ammunition in specified areas.

“After the Uri attack in September last year, there was a review which found critical deficiencies in preparedness to fight a short, intense war of 15 days. Emergency powers were given to the Vice-Chief to handle critical deficiencies in 46 types of ammunition and certain spares for 10 types of weapon platforms. There is no restriction on the amount,” a senior Army officer said on Wednesday.

The emergency powers were initially given for a three-month period up to December and was further extended up to end of March.

During this period ending March, 19 contracts worth ₹12,000 crore were signed, of which 11 were for ammunition alone.

The government also realised that there should be self-sufficiency for the services in emergency purchases and cannot be on an ad-hoc basis, said the officer. “Now, they have delegated these powers to use whenever required.”

For want of time

Another officer explained that as the procurement was under the revenue stream and for in-service equipment, there was no need to go through the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

This would ensure there were no time delays typically encountered in capital procurements.

Emergency financial power would accelerate the procurement process and it was likely to be extended to the Navy and Air Force very soon.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 1:20:39 pm |