Armed forces get special powers; can buy weapons up to ₹300cr

The decision has been made two days before Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Ladakh to take stock of the country's military preparedness and review the overall situation there

MoD, Indian Army
Officials have announced the decision to shelve the proposal for the Army's withdrawal from Jammu and Kashmir indefinitely, considering the prevailing situation and the recent incidents of terrorist attacks I File Photo

In the wake of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, the Armed Forces — Army, Navy and Air Force — have got special powers to buy weapons up to ₹300 crore to meet emergent operational requirements.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. According to the ministry, there is no cap on the number of capital procurement programmes, but each acquisition under the emergency requirement category should not cost more than ₹300 crore.

“The DAC delegated the powers for progressing urgent capital acquisition cases of up to ₹300 crore to the armed forces to meet their emergent operational requirements,” Singh said in a tweet. The decision, he said, would shrink the procurement timelines and ensure placement of orders within six months and commencement of deliveries within one year.

The ministry, in a statement, said the special meeting of the DAC was convened considering the prevailing security environment along the northern borders and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of the country’s borders. The three services have started buying a range of military equipment, weapons and platforms in the last few weeks in the midst of the tense border row with China in eastern Ladakh.

The decision has been made two days before Singh’s visit to Ladakh to take stock of the country’s military preparedness and review the overall situation as India and China move to finalise a framework for a complete disengagement at friction points on their border. This will be his first visit to Ladakh after the standoff.

(With inputs from agencies)