India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to delegate substantial financial powers to the Armed Forces for undertaking works for perimeter security of sensitive military installations.
The decision will give powers to the three vice chiefs to spend at least Rs 800 crore (US$124.6 million) per year in strengthening perimeter security at the sensitive bases, Press trust of India reported Friday.
The move of the ministry of defense aims to expedite the decision making process involved in the modernisation of the security apparatus of airbases and defence installations.
The Vice-Chiefs of the three Services have been empowered to place orders, procure equipment and carry out civil works without further seeking approvals of the MoD. The financial delegation represents a significant jump in the powers currently exercised by the Services.
The Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has also fixed tight timelines to ensure that the works are undertaken on priority and in a time-bound manner to ensure full security of our critical defence assets.
A security audit of defence bases was carried out on the recommendation of a committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose which was set up after the terror attack on the forward Pathankot air force base last year.
A total of 3,000 sensitive bases, including 600 highly sensitive installations of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were identified by the forces last year.
The armed forces had together sought Rs 2,000 crore (US$311.6 million) to strengthen security infrastructure at all "highly sensitive, sensitive and moderately sensitive bases" during the current and next financial years.
The official said following the security audit, revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) were sent to the commands of all three services to revamp their security management, including putting in place a multi-tier security structure.