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‘Judicious use of finances key to armed forces’ combat readiness’

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called on the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) to ensure quick and transparent decision-making

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, called for judicious use of financial resources by the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) through quick and transparent decision-making, terming it as the key to strengthening the combat readiness of the armed forces.

Inaugurating the two-day Controllers’ Conference of DAD here, he described officials of the department as the sentinels of the defence finance system who play their part in nation-building by managing the allotted funds with financial prudence.

The DAD handles the budget allocated to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which translates into pay and allowances of personnel, payment to pensioners, processing of financial advice cases for various procurements and processing of first and third-party claims, apart from the other auxiliary activities, including internal audit function. In the Union Budget 2022-23, the MoD has been allocated a total budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crores, including Rs 1.19 lakh crore for pensions.

The agenda points of the conference include Public Finance Management: Towards a system of faceless transactions; IFA System: An aid to effective decision making; Efficiency & Performance Audit: From Compliance to Assurance Framework; Improving Service Delivery; Challenges in Human Resource Management and Sustaining Major IT systems developed by the DAD.

Rajnath laid special emphasis on ensuring timely payments to beneficiaries, i.e., soldiers, pensioners and third parties. He hoped that the session on ‘Public Finance Management: Towards a system of faceless transactions’ will pave the way for transparency in defence financial transactions. He exuded confidence that the conference will further improve the services of the DAD; bring transparency to its work and strengthen Human Resource Management. He urged the controllers to function with the mindset of a collaborator and work for the benefit of both parties.

Rajnath called upon the DAD to further develop its IT capabilities and financial knowledge; bolster the internal vigilance mechanism and enhance the skills of its workforce to more efficiently discharge its duties. “If there is a doubt in the working of any officer, it should be reviewed immediately. Complaints should be settled immediately. If grievances are pending, provision should be made for their weekly or monthly audit and action should be taken,” he said.