Monday, March 1, 2010

FinMin looks to Empower Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Defence Deals

Perturbed at the delays in defence acquisition that cause the surrender of large sums of money every year, the finance ministry has mooted a change in policy that will empower Defence Minister A K Antony to clear defence projects up to Rs 1,000 crore, bypassing the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).A note from the finance ministry to this effect is likely to be sent for Cabinet clearance in a few days.Currently, the defence minister is allowed by the Cabinet to clear projects up to Rs 200 crore without having to bring it to the Cabinet or CCS. For orders up to Rs 500 crore, the concurrence of the finance ministry is sufficient. Now, the finance ministry wants to raise the limit to Rs 1,000 crore to speed up the acquisition process by financially empowering the defence minister and giving him a larger measure of autonomy, in consultation with

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