Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that bolstering national security has been the top priority of the government.
He launched several digital initiatives of Defence Accounts Department (DAD) during its 275th annual day celebrations in New Delhi on October 1.
"Bolstering national security has been our top priority since the beginning. The allocation of a total budget of ₹5.25 lakh crore to the Ministry of Defence in 2022-23 is a testament to that unwavering resolve. The DAD is playing a crucial role in this endeavour," Mr. Singh was quoted as saying in a statement by the Ministry.
He also said the DAD should bolster their support to the government's efforts through "speedy decisions, as delays not only lead to loss of time and money, but also adversely impact the combat readiness of the country".
The digital initiatives launched by him include System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) mobile app; Pay System for Agniveers; International Air Ticket booking module in Defence Travel System (DTS); Defence Accounts Receipts and Payment System (DARPAN); Defence Civilian Pay system and Defence Accounts Human Resource Management System, the statement said.
On the occasion, Mr. Singh also gave away the Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2022 to three teams for exhibiting exemplary initiative in implementing key department projects - development, testing and implementation of SPARSH; implementation of E-Concurrence in DRDO and Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) Bharati: Your PAO, a call away 24x7.
Describing SPARSH as a landmark step, Singh said it is the government's endeavour to provide best services to the serving personnel, ex-servicemen and their families during the soldiers' lifetime as well as after death.
He added that special emphasis is being laid to disbursing right pension at the right time. The Raksha Mantri called upon DAD to make speedy and quality disposal of grievances of pensioners as their first priority.
"As India has completed 75 years of independence, it is moving forward with renewed confidence and determination under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 'Amrit Kaal' to become one of the most powerful countries in the world by 2047. This goal can only be achieved if India has a strong military, which is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons/equipment, manufactured by an 'Aatmanirbhar' defence industry," the Minister said.
Mr. Singh also emphasised on the important role the department can play in realising the vision of 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence.
"68% of capital procurement budget has been earmarked for the domestic industry during financial year 2022-23, which underlines the government's commitment towards achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing," he said.
The Minister elaborated on the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the defence secretary for the performance and efficiency audit of various aspects of Ministry of Defence.
This committee, through audit, will review the work being done in the ministry from a new and creative perspective, he said, stressing that DAD can play an important role in the process. This will not only increase the efficiency of the services, but also reduce wasteful expenditure, he added.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Financial Advisor (Defence Services) Rasika Chaube, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) Avinash Dikshit and other senior officials of the ministry were present during the event.