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Defence ministry dilemma: Who pays for the expenses incurred by the Army

‘Guidelines being looked into so that Army does not spend from own pocket’.

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | Updated: March 10, 2016 6:30 am
World Culture Festival, Delhi government, the Defence Ministry, manohar parrikar, delhi news, sri sri ravi shankar, art of living foundation Existing guidelines enable state governments to requisition the Army for aid to civil authorities.

After having engaged the Army in deployment of pontoons for World Culture Festival on request of the Delhi government, the Defence Ministry is now dealing with the question of ‘who pays for the expenses incurred by the Army’ in cases where assistance is extended to non-government entities such as Art of Living Foundation.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has directed the ministry’s officials to look into procedures that define how organisations can be billed for services extended by the Army, as in this case, said sources.

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“Existing guidelines enable state governments to requisition the Army for aid to civil authorities. A request was received from the Delhi government and the Ministry asked the Army to extend help,” said a defence ministry official.

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As per guidelines, under Aid to Civil Authorities, the Army can be requisitioned for five heads —assistance for maintenance of law and order, maintenance of essential services, assistance in natural calamities, development of projects and other type of assistance. The official said in present case, the request was processed under the “other type of assistance” head.

“These regulations, however, do not have any provision for processing the billing in case private organisations such as Art of Living Foundation are involved… In fact, in 1997 too the Army had laid pontoons for Yanni concert on the banks of river Yamuna… Despite such assistance in the past, there has been no mechanism to recover the costs incurred… the same guidelines are being looked into so that in future, the Army does not spend from its own pocket,” added the official.

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According to sources, the Army engaged one bridging company — about 120 personnel — from an engineer unit based out of Meerut for the work on the World Culture Festival. “Meerut is the closest from where such equipment could be brought in… so far, the Army has laid two pontoons,” said an official.

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  1. A
    Aap
    Mar 10, 2016 at 8:01 am
    Soldiers are pride of nation because of their duty. Now they have been degraded. Who pays is not the question, but can you use our soldiers by paying to army? Is this what we pay tax for?
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    1. M
      MyTake
      Mar 10, 2016 at 8:11 am
      Burkha Dutt is enough to provide security for lakhs of people and also keep her option open to get her next Pak visa. Kill two birds in one through!
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      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 10, 2016 at 8:19 am
        Sri Sri should be requested to held annual functions alongside rivers so he can make his contributions to clean Jamuna/Ganga project, which the Gunda UPA Govt. of the past has miserably failed. If Army want to come to the party it is a welcome step. Nothing is more smelly then UPA so, naturally they can't smell it and want to keep it smell way and unclean. At the end of the day those politicians who do not come to attend and instead protest people will give them the right answer.
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          Asma
          Mar 10, 2016 at 8:39 am
          Should one conclude, the day when Pathonkot was attacked, the army was deplo on private duty elsewhere ? Highly deplorable act of the day !
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          1. G
            Gerry
            Mar 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm
            What has the Army degenerated into! Next time around use soldiers/airmen/sailors to paint Parliament House, Presidents Estate Bldgs., Prime Ministers Residence, Defence Ministers Bungalow in Delhi and House in Goa.That will be a true demonstration of civilian control over the Armed Forces! BHARAT MATA KI JAI!
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