In a major decision, the government has empowered the Army directly to procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration “intense wars”, a top government official said today.
According to the decision by the government, the Vice Chief of Army has been given the “full” financial powers to procure ammunitions and spares for 10 types of weapons systems and equipment after an internal review found that optimum level of “war stores” were not being maintained, the official, who is privy to the development, said.
The official said the financial power vested, depending on the budgetary support available, to buy the complete range of weapons system may translate into Rs 40,000 crore.
According to the decision, the Vice Chief of the Army has also been empowered on a routine basis to review the optimum holding state and maintaining it in a recurring manner.
The official said the procedure will be part of revenue procurement of the Army for in-service equipment and weapons and it will not require going through numerous procurement stages which often cause inordinate delays.
As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems.
Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.
The Army has been pressing the government for ensuring speedy procurement of key military platforms citing evolving security challenges.
“It is a major move to fill various gaps in our combat readiness,” said a senior Army official.