Judicious use of financial resources needed to enhance the combat readiness of the armed forces: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday urged the Defense Accounts Department to ensure judicious use of financial resources through prompt and transparent decision-making as this is key to enhancing combat readiness armed forces.

He was speaking at the auditors’ conference organized by the Defense Accounts Department in New Delhi.

“The DAD manages the budget allocated to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), which translates into pay and allowances for staff, payment of pensioners, handling of financial advice files for various contracts and handling of first-line claims and third party, apart from other ancillary activities including the internal audit function.In the Union Budget 2022-23, the MoD has been allocated a total budget of 5.25 lakh crore including 1.19 lakh crore for pensions,” the Ministry of Defense said.

The conference agenda items included Public Financial Management: Towards a Faceless Trading System; IFA System: An aid to effective decision-making; Efficiency and performance audit: compliance with assurance framework; improving service delivery; Challenges in the management of human resources and the maintenance of the large computer systems developed by the DAD.

Singh placed particular emphasis on ensuring timely payments to beneficiaries, ie soldiers, pensioners and third parties. He hopes that the session on “Public Financial Management: Towards a System of Anonymous Transactions” will pave the way for transparency in defense financial transactions.

The minister stressed that domain expertise coupled with a sensitive understanding of client needs is essential to providing timely financial advice. He urged controllers to operate with a collaborator mindset and to work for the benefit of both parties.

He called on the DAD to develop its IT capacity and financial knowledge, strengthen the internal vigilance mechanism and enhance the skills of its workforce to perform its functions more effectively.

“If there is any doubt in the work of an officer, it should be reviewed immediately. Complaints should be dealt with immediately. If grievances are pending, arrangements should be made for their weekly or monthly audit and action must be taken,” he said.

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Louis R. Hancock