Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs have been given more financial powers to sanction imports upto Rs 20 crores of critical weapons systems and enhanced funds to meet special operational requirements.
The services headquarters have now been given full financial authority to clear all low and medium purchases for the three services under an internal order circulated by the Defence Ministry.
The decision is being viewed by the services headquarters as a major step as they will now have the authority to sanction 50 to 100 per cent of expenses for non-scaled items for induction of newer and technically-advanced weapons to meet special requirements.
"We have delegated more financial powers to services' chiefs and principal staff officers at various services' headquarters to ensure utilisation of budgetary grants," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
He said the move to empower service chiefs had been taken as per the recommendations made by a high-powered committee set up by the Ministry earlier this year, which reviewed the financial powers of service chiefs and the integrated defence staff.
With this devolution of financial powers, officials said Defence Ministry has adopted a policy of confining itself to overseeing long-term and big-ticket contracts.