Rajnath Singh reviews operational preparedness and measures undertaken to fight Covid-19 via video conference …Read More
NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday directed the 15-lakh strong armed forces to ensure judicious utilization of funds and avoid wasteful expenditure in view of the economic burden imposed on the country by the coronavirus pandemic.
Reviewing the operational preparedness as well as the measures to fight Covid-19 through a video conference with the top military brass in different parts of the country, Singh also said no adversary should not get any opportunity “to exploit the current situation” while the Indian armed forces were actively helping the national battle against the pandemic.
A day after TOI reported the Army, Navy and IAF had been instructed to put capital acquisitions of new weapon systems on hold due to the huge financial impact of Covid-19, the minister asked the military brass to “initiate measures” to spend the available financial resources prudently.
Stressing on the requirement of “jointness” in the armed forces, the defence minister asked all the commanders-in-chief across the country to “identify and prioritize tasks that could be accomplished quickly and assist in revival of the economy after the lockdown is lifted”.
The minister appreciated the role of the armed forces in assisting local civil administrations and the preparatory measures taken to fight Covid-19. The commanders, in turn, welcomed the defence ministry’s recent devolution of emergency financial powers which had ensured timely procurement of necessary medical supplies to bolster the health infrastructure of military hospitals. They also expressed readiness to pitch in to maintain essential services if requested by local civilian administrations.