In a major step to remove red tape, the Union Home Ministry has cut-down on the time taken to procure latest weapons and equipment for the central armed police forces (CAPFs) like CRPF and BSF, an official said.
The home ministry has also removed the three-stage process of procurement — authorisation, procurement and expenditure sanction — into two by clubbing authorisation and procurement, thus cutting down time substantially or by several months.
Financial powers have been given up to the level of commandants of a battalion in the CAPFs for procurement of arms, ammunition, clothing and tentage, machinery and equipment, the official said, requesting anonymity.
The procurement process has been fast-tracked to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness of the CAPFs and continued need for modernisation of the forces.
The delegation seeks to empower and enable the officers in the CAPFs to take quick decisions to meet requirements of the forces in order to improve efficiency and operational effectiveness, besides simplifying the procedure for procurement, the official said.
This is for the first time such a major overhaul has been done in procurement process with the active initiative of Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
Besides, the CAPFs no longer be required to approach the home ministry for approval for finalising the Qualitative Requirements (QRs) for arms or equipment to be procured.
“This will cut-down significantly on the time taken for finalisation of tenders,” another official said.
In view of the multifarious responsibilities of the Director Generals of the CAPFs, the ministry has decided that the Special DG or Additional DG shall head the tender purchase committee to expedite the finalisation of the tenders for procurement of machinery, equipment and weapons.
The CAPFs have also been empowered to procure items for trials up to Rs 2 crore, a 100 per cent enhancement from the past.
The samples of many weapons and equipment need to be tested and tried during field conditions for evaluation to check whether they meet technical specifications during the tender process.
The results of the trial samples being tested during tender process will be valid for two years.
Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) are the CAPFs under the MHA.
In September, chiefs of central armed police forces and other central agencies were empowered to spend up to Rs 15 crore for executing major projects and Rs one crore for minor works, including repairing of residential buildings.
The financial powers of the directors general of CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB, NSG, Assam Rifles and National Investigation Agency and director of Intelligence Bureau were enhanced to execute major projects to Rs 15 crore from Rs 10 crore.
Similarly, the chiefs have also been authorised to spend up to Rs one crore for carrying out minor works like petty repairs and administrative expenditure, from the earlier limit of Rs 50 lakh.
Joint secretaries have also been allowed to make procurement through open or limited tender of up to Rs 20 crore and procurement through negotiated or single tender or proprietary contract of up to Rs 5 crore.