The Cabinet Commitee on Security (CCS) on Friday night decided to integrate the three headquarters of the armed forces, create an intelligence co-ordination group and a defence intelligence agency to bolster the national security apparatus.
Briefing reporters after the CCS meeting, Union Home Minister L K Advani said integration of the service headquarters would lead to 'progressive de-centralisation of decision-making and delegation of powers to service headquarters'.
He informed that the CCS had accepted all the recommendations of the Group of Ministers looking into reforms in the national security system.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had told the GoM to review the national security system in its entirety and formulate specific proposals for implementation while keeping in mind the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee, he said.
The home minister said the GoM had set up four task forces, one each on: Intelligence apparatusInternal securityBorder managementDefence management.
He emphaised that the task forces were multi-disciplinary in character and comprised of acknowledged experts.
One of the GoM's recommendations, Advani said, was the constitution of a defence procurement board to promote a higher degree of professionalism and cost-effectiveness in defence purchases.
The GoM had recommended that the nation go in for long term planning in the form of an integrated defence plan for the next 15-20 years.
However, the CCS did not discuss the institution of Chief of Defence Staff as National Democratic Alliance constituents and Opposition parties had sought clarifications from the government on the issue.
Apart from the prime minister and Union home minister, Defence Minister Jaswant Singh, Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman K C Pant, National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, Cabinet Secretary T R Prasad, Home Secretary Kamal Pandey attended the meeting.
With inputs from PTI
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