New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has delegated powers to make emergency purchases worth up to 300 crores to the three services “to meet their emergent operational requirements,” a statement from the government said on Wednesday.

The devolution of financial powers to the three services comes against the backdrop of ongoing military tensions with China.

“Considering the security environment due to prevailing situation along the Northern Borders and the need to strengthen the Armed Forces for the Defence of our borders, a Special Meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council was convened on 15th July 2020 under the Chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh,” the statement said.

“The DAC delegated the powers for progressing urgent Capital Acquisition Cases upto 300 crores to the Armed Forces to meet their emergent operational requirements. This will shrink the procurement timelines and ensure placement of orders within six months and commencement of deliveries within one year,” the statement said.

The move follows India making or planning to make several emergency buys from the international arms market — of unmanned aerial vehicles, light tanks and anti tank guided missiles.

Last month the DAC had green lighted the purchase of 21 MiG 29s from Russia and 12 Sukhois to be made under licence in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) following the tensions with China. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is to visit Ladakh on Friday to take stock of the situation in the region where China has made deep inroads into Indian territory in at least two places.

In the wake of tensions with Pakistan last year after the 14 February Pulwama terrorist attack, the DAC had similarly empowered the forces to make emergency buys.

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