In a step aimed at accelerating purchases of critical nature,the Defence Ministry has given an in principle approval to a three-time hike in the delegation of financial powers to Service Headquarters up to Rs 150 crore from the current limit of Rs 50 crore.
The ministry has also started the process of bringing amendments in the Works of Defence Act,1903 that puts restriction on construction activity around vital defence installation like ordnance depots,radar stations and communication centres.
The Defence Ministry said the decision to hike the allocations of the service HQ was taken at a meeting between Antony,the three Service Chiefs Admiral Nirmal Verma,General V K Singh,Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne and Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma. The ministry spokesperson said Antony also directed the three Service Chiefs to explore more avenues for giving permanent commission to women in the armed forces.
Meanwhile,the minister also disclosed that work has started to accommodate the needs of the changing times by amending the Works of Defence Act during a meeting of the Consultative Committee in Parliament.
Members of Parliament,cutting across party lines,strongly put across the view that the Act of 1903 is proving to be a painful one for those civilians living close to defence depots because of its stringent and restrictive provisions, a ministry release said.