For the first time, the government on Wednesday delegated financial powers for capital procurement projects worth up to Rs 200 crore to armed forces officials below the level of vice chiefs to help them meet emerging security challenges, officials said.
The Union Cabinet approved the proposal giving the financial powers to the deputy chiefs and command heads of the armed forces for capital procurement projects, they said.
Under Other Capital Procurement Procedure (OCPP) of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, powers to clear projects up to Rs 100 crore has been delegated to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at services command level, according to the defence ministry.
For the Indian Coast Guard, similar authorisation has been granted to regional commanders, it said.
Powers up to Rs 200 crore have been delegated to Deputy Chief of Army Staff and Master General Sustenance, Chief of Material, Air Officer Maintenance, Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and Additional Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, the ministry said in a statement.
'This delegation of powers within service headquarters and up to command level for items of capital nature such as overhauls, refits, upgrades etc will enhance the utility of existing assets and will facilitate faster processing and implementation of projects for modernisation of armed forces to meet the security challenges of the nation,' it said.
The ministry said the cabinet has also approved enhanced financial powers in the 'Make-I' category under which government funding up to 70 per cent of the prototype development cost is available for design and development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof.
It said Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Vice Chief of Army Staff, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Deputy Chief of Air Staff and Director General of Coast Guard have now been given powers to sanction government support up to Rs 50 crore towards cost of development of prototypes.
'Financial powers have also been enhanced for other competent financial authorities under 'Make-I' in line with government's vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India' for a robust defence industrial ecosystem,' it said.