New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that Integrated finance is the backbone of any ministry or government department and desired objectives can only be achieved when budgetary resources are managed without compromising on operational needs. The minister was addressing the Integrated Financial Advisors (IFA) workshop in the capital on Tuesday. Singh commended the Finance Division in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) for meeting the needs of the three Services and other allied organisations, like Ordnance Factories, Indian Coast Guard, Border Roads Organisation and DRDO with harmony and synergy and displaying the willingness and readiness to meet new challenges.
Rajnath Singh highlighted that in the last three years, MoD has been able to fully utilise its allocations, ending the trend of non-utilisation of funds due to substantial delegation of financial powers. He said, financial powers have been delegated for capital and revenue procurement so that Armed Forces are able to make their own procurement of up to Rs 300-500 crore. Singh added that emergency powers have also been given to the Armed Forces in view of their emergent operational needs.
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This, he said, has led to enhanced operational efficiency.
Singh stressed that workshops like these not only play an important role in the evaluation of the Government's policies and practices but also create a path for future policies. "Such events instil confidence in how responsible and committed we are to our financial matters. These responsibilities and commitments help us to make our administration accountable and the country financially independent", he said.
The minister said the functioning of the Government is being made effective and efficient under 'Minimum Government Maximum Governance', adding that performance standards are being established for government officials and mechanisms of prudence and accountability are being adopted in financial management. He said, in such a situation, this workshop creates a progressive and constructive feedback system according to which a roadmap for systemic improvements is made.
In his address, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar termed IFAs as 'eyes and ears of MoD' and said their defining role is to guide the Services and other allied organisations in their way forward. He called for increased focus on non-financial resources saying that they are equally essential. Dr Kumar said, "optimisation and utilisation of resources should be at the centre of the functioning of IFAs".
Secretary (Defence Finance) Gargi Kaul described financial advice as an important pillar of good governance and accountability. She said, "the role of IFAs is to help the executive achieve its goals and objectives keeping in mind financial prudence". She urged them to take a macro view, saying that micro-routine matters should not be stressed.