Army, Navy, Air Force Seek Emergency Financial Powers For 3 Months To Fight Covid Crisis
New Delhi: The military, navy and air force have requested emergency financial credentials from the defense ministry to speed up critical purchases needed to build additional infrastructure to deal with the growing burden of the coronavirus pandemic , ThePrint learned.
According to sources in the government, proposals to obtain emergency financial powers for additional infrastructure – such as quarantine facilities and their equipment in stores, rations and other materials – for a period of three months are currently under consideration. actively by the government.
A decision on this is expected shortly. The services were also given emergency financial authorities last year.
Once approved, the emergency powers could range from the delegation of full financial powers to the granting of spending powers of Rs 20 lakh to the heads of the various formations of the three services.
For example, last year, army commanders were sanctioned with full financial powers, while corps commanders or zone commanders were allowed to spend Rs 50 lakh, and division commanders or commanders subzone could spend Rs 20 lakh on Covid related infrastructure works in their respective jurisdiction.
The development comes after the Defense Ministry last week sanctioned the invocation of Annex 8.1 of the Delegation of Financial Authorities to Defense Services (DFPDS-2016), which deals with the granting of financial powers to emergency to the medical service of the armed forces (AFMS) until September 30, 2021.
Annex 8.1 of DFPDS-2016 gives full financial authority to the Director General (DG), Armed Forces Medical Service (AFMS) for the purchase of medical items, equipment and stores.
In addition, the medical services of the DGs of the army, navy and air force headquarters were also granted financial credentials of Rs 5 crore. At the field level in the commands / corps, a crore of Rs 3 will be made available to a division general equivalent and another crore of Rs 2 to an officer equivalent to an AFMS brigadier.
These emergency financial powers will also be used to provide various Covid-19 treatment and management services.
In addition, Annex 2.5 of the DFPDS also provides for expenditure of up to 5 lakh per day. per patient to commanders military hospitals run by a lieutenant general.
It will also grant spending powers of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh on hospitals run by generals and brigadiers. Defense sources told The Print that this timeline is also being used to manage the pandemic.
This is, however, different from the emergency financial powers sought by services for their orders.
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Facing a health crisis
According to defense sources, the services highlighted the exponential increase in Covid cases and therefore the need to increase the infrastructure of military hospitals and quarantine facilities with material, equipment, stores, rations, beds and ambulances, to deal with the health crisis.
This will also include personal protective equipment, disinfection and other medical equipment.
“Emphasis was placed on how the invocation of emergency powers will contribute to better management of the Covid-19 situation and to faster repairs and procurement of drugs and other medical equipment necessary for the pandemic in real time, ”a defense source said.
As reported by ThePrint, also last year, the Defense Ministry granted emergency financial powers to army commanders, corps commanders as well as division or sub-area commanders to expedite procurement related the establishment and operation of quarantine facilities, among other things, for an initial period. three months, which was then extended for another three months.
Powers were then also given to navy and air force commanders and other senior service officers.
When are these powers exercised
The emergency powers to the three services listed under different timetables of the DFPDS-2016 are exercised as the government notifies an event by an order declaring war, hostility, natural calamity or disaster or when the minister Defense declares and orders military emergency preparedness. or other immediate military necessities.
It will also be applicable as and when a proposal, issued by the department heads, is approved by the Minister of Defense for immediate measures to be taken in the event of a series of incidents or when the army is requisitioned for internal security functions.
The procurement powers under different heads vary and are strengthened in consultation with the Integrated Financial Advisor (IFA), who belongs to the Defense Comptroller General (CGDA).
On Monday, the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review preparations and operations undertaken by the armed forces to tackle the pandemic.
(Edited by Debalina Dey)
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