‘CDS must handle capital procurements’

The newly created post of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) should be given control over capital procurements of the three services which remains with the Defence Secretary, said recently retired Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra on Thursday.

Talking of integration in the Defence Ministry, Mr. Mitra said he had seen it closely in the run-up to the Balakot air strike last February.

“When we are in a crisis we do well. It is the peacetime conversations that lead to tensions,” he said at the launch of a book on civil-military relations in India, The Absent Dialogue , by Anit Mukherjee, Non-Resident Fellow at Brookings India. “I think capital procurements should go to CDS as military capabilities are the core of the discussions,” Mr. Mitra said.

Former Army chief Gen. V.P. Malik agreed to this, stating that during peace time, “we have a lot of problem.” “I had no problem during Kargil. It was the discussion which resulted in the joint strategy,” he added.

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