WEB DESK – The armed forces in India are reportedly feeling angry and heartless over the delay in handing over the delicate financial powers to them for revenue expenditure as promised by the government.
According to the details retrieved by Indian news media, the Indian defence minister A K Antony promised top military officials that the 2014-15 fiscal year would mark a new beginning with greater delegation of financial powers to ensure they could run their forces better on a day-to-day basis.
The promise was made by the minister in keeping with the recommendations of several committees over the years, including the latest one approved by the defence ministry in 2010.
“Antony also gave this assurance in commanders’ conferences last year. It meant the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force would not have to keep running to the defence ministry for approvals, which invariably face huge delays. But March 31 has come and gone without it happening,” said a top military officer.
As of now, commanders-in-chief (C-in-Cs) of different commands and vice-chiefs of the three Services have financial powers to incur revenue expenditure (maintenance, transportation, stores, works, repairs and refits) for just about Rs 15-25 crore.
“If someone is found guilty of wrongdoing, hang him. But how can commanders run their forces efficiently with such paltry financial powers, which are often not even enough to buy spares for platforms. There is a strong case to enhance the powers to three times the existing limits now, taking inflation into account,” said the officer.