http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/in ... ister.htmlIn a major step towards speeding up defence deals and urgently meeting critical requirements of the armed forces, PM Narendra Modi has enhanced defence minister Manohar Parrikar's financial muscle by four times, allowing him to buy weapon systems and platforms worth Rs 2,000 crore at his own discretion.
This is a huge jump from the existing fund of Rs 500 crore that was given to the defence minister under the UPA government.
'At a recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Prime Minister cleared the proposal to increase the financial power of the defence minister from the existing Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore,' senior government sources told Mail Today here.
The decision is made to fast-track the speed of weapon acquisition
The decision by the Prime Minister is going to significantly fast-track the speed of weapon acquisition as many defence deals can be completed at the level of the defence ministry and there would no need to take them to the Cabinet Committee on Security, the sources said.
Till now, all the defence deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore had to be cleared at the level of the CCS which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes the unions ministers for defence, home, finance and external affairs. The Prime minister also cleared many other proposals related to the financial decision made by his ministers as he has given the defence minister and the finance minister the power to jointly clear defence acquisitions worth up to Rs 3,000 crores.
This would mean that at least 60-70 per cent of the deals related to the defence sector would be cleared at the ministerial level, the sources said.
PM Modi has given Manohar Parrikar more discretion over defence acquisitions
So far, the two ministers could jointly clear deals worth Rs 1,000 crore but this has now been enhanced by three times, they said.
With the new arrangements in place, the Cabinet Committee on Security will only take up acquisition cases which are worth over Rs 3,000 crore, the sources said.
The new financial rules will help the defence ministry give contracts for several weapon systems, especially for tank ammunition and small arms requirements, such as rifles and small range missiles, and also help cut down the time taken for getting clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security.
'This is going to save at least a few months in the long-lasting defence acquisition process,' the sources said.