NEW DELHI — Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony has warned his ministry’s financial planners not to overlook rules in an attempt to make speedier decisions on purchases.
Antony’s comments, made Oct. 1 at a function here, are seen as a clear reminder to Indian defense bureaucrats to be transparent in decision-making — even if it means delayed purchase programs, a Defence Ministry official said.
Most of India’s weapons-buying programs have been delayed due to bureaucratic red tape and procedures, thereby slowing the purchase of essential weapons and equipment, a senior Indian Army official said.
“The task of utilizing the funds allotted optimally, and with all the honesty, transparency and fairness, has to be a collective endeavor. However, effective resource management requires speedier decision-making by authorities vested with financial powers,” Antony said. “At the same time, speedier decision-making must not lead to bypassing of laid-down rules and procedures.”
Antony said the ministry has a new system of decision-making, under which decisions on purchases are made at a broader meeting of various departments. The earlier practice involved passing files from one internal department to another.