Finance is the Best Form for Defence

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jun 2, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it seems, has chosen the Defence Ministry to test his 10-point governance mantra, in particular points 3, 6 and 10—to try out a mechanism for resolving inter-ministerial issues, welcoming innovative ideas and implementing policy in a time-bound manner.

    For that reason, said government insiders, Modi has sent his most-trusted minister, whose main job otherwise is to manage finances, to understand Defence Ministry and the imperatives of security, even if it is going to be for just a couple of weeks to a month. This innovation, government sources told The Sunday Standard, was to help the top brass in the new government understand the urgency involved in the armed forces’ procurement proposals—to better appreciate the issues at hand when funds are allocated for the defence forces in the general budget.

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who will be holding additional charge of the Defence Ministry for a couple of weeks till a full-time minister is found, is now going through briefings on the functioning of the ministry. He is expected to soon get a full-fledged briefing on impending procurements. Both Jaitley and his junior minister Rao Inderjit Singh had, on taking over their responsibilities, stressed on speeding up procurement proposals to ensure timely delivery of weapons, systems and equipment that would keep the forces fighting fit.

    When it became known that Jaitley would be in the Defence Ministry as an interim arrangement, the news initially upset bureaucrats and officers alike, who wondered if the exercise of briefing the “interim” minister would be of any value.


    However, they went about the briefings and meetings with Jaitley religiously. Officials not wanting to be identified said they came back wiser after those meetings, as the intent of the Modi government dawned on them.

    “Yeah, we will have to go through the briefings and meetings with the new minister too. But this exercise is worth all its while,” a bureaucrat said, admitting that there would be duplication of processes when a new Defence Minister takes over responsibilities afresh.

    “But this process will only help. The Finance Minister, who would then be also a former Defence Minister, will be aware of the Ministry’s requirements, imperatives, urgency and such issues when he handles clearances for funds,” he said, exuding confidence. Precisely for this reason the Defence Ministry sees a number of its procurement proposals, pending for months to go through in the new government.

    The new Finance Minister’s task would be to find funds to meet that promise to the Defence Ministry, apart from checking if he can provide for the demand for 25 per cent more funds, to meet the growing procurement demands. The Defence Ministry and the defence industry are already looking at the possibility of going through the process of finalising contracts.

    Finance is the Best Form for Defence - The New Indian Express

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