Defence Minister Rajnath Singh released on September 7, 2021 order on Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021, providing enhanced delegation of Revenue Procurement powers to the Armed Forces. The DFPDS 2021 aims to empower field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business and enhance jointness among the Services. Last such enhancement at all levels for the Defence Services was done in 2016. The DFPDS 2021 was a result of wide-ranging deliberations by the Services under the aegis of Department of Military Affairs and Department of Defence.
The DFPDS 2021 consists of guidelines related to the following Schedules of Financial Powers:
Delegated Financial Powers of Vice Chiefs of the Services have been increased by 10 per cent, subject to an overall ceiling of Rs 500 crore. Financial Powers of Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee as Competent Financial Authorities (CFA) has been enhanced substantially and aligned with that of the Vice Chiefs of the Services. New CFA have been added viz. Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Master General Sustenance, ADG (Procurement)/DG Air Operations/DG Naval Operations etc. in Service Headquarters and in the field formations on account of reorganisation/restructuring/functional requirements.
Substantial enhancement has been approved in the Schedules related to Indigenisation/Research & Development up to three times of the existing powers, in line with ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A new schedule on hiring of aircraft and associated equipment has been introduced for Indian Air Force which includes hiring of Air-to-Air re-fuellers. For Indian Navy, powers for replenishment of Disaster Management Bricks have been delegated to Command Level for immediate response to Natural Disasters/HADR Operations.
A system of oversight, disclosure and internal audit mechanism will be put in place by the administrative wing of DoD/DMA in consultation with MoD (Finance). Substantial delegation has also been approved for non-procurement powers. The CDS, CNS, Defence Secretary and other senior officers of the MoD were also present.