Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday (April 30) invoked special provisions and granted ‘Emergency Financial Powers’ to the Armed Forces to empower them and speed up their efforts to tide over the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
These powers will help Formation Commanders to establish and operate quarantine facilities/hospitals and undertake procurement/repair of equipment/items/material/stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against the pandemic.
Rajnath Singh tweeted: “To empower the Armed Forces and speed up their efforts in the nationwide fight against COVID 19 situation, Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh invoked special provisions and granted Emergency Financial Powers to the Armed Forces today.”
Vice chiefs of Armed Forces including Chief Of Integrated Defence Staff To The Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee (CISC) and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs (GOC-in-Cs) and equivalents of all three services have been given full powers.
Corps Commanders/Area Commanders have been delegated powers up to Rs 50 lakh per case and Division Commanders/Sub-Area Commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to Rs 20 lakh per case.
These powers have been devolved initially for a period of three months from May 1 to July 31, 2021. These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the medical officers of the Armed Forces last week.
The emergency powers were sanctioned to the Armed Forces last year too when the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out. This had helped the Armed Forces tackle the situation faster and in an effective manner.
A few days back, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him that all medical personnel who retired from the Armed Forces in the past two years will be recalled for COVID duty.
India recorded over 3.86 lakh cases and 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Several countries including the US, UK, Singapore, Australia and others have started sending help to India in the form of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, cryogenic vessels, medical equipment and medicines.