Administrative and Revenue Procurement Matters of Armed Forces Shift to DMA

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New Delhi: With the setting up of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, the Ministry of Defence has shifted administrative and revenue procurement matters to this department though any important matter related to defence policy will be dealt by the Defence Secretary.

The orders marking formal division of work, which were notified over the week, have also specified that the secretariat of the high powered Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which looks after large capital procurements, will be moved to the Department of Defence (DoD), in a change from the past when it functioned under the tri-services headquarters. The fresh allocation has broadly shifted most of the work earlier being done by the Joint Secretaries for Army, Air Force and Navy to the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), which includes promotions and appointments of senior officers.

DMA will operate with two joint secretary level officers, 13 directors and 25 under secretaries who were earlier posted to DoD. While orders have been issued for appointment of junior staff to the DMA, the two joint secretary level officers are yet to be posted.

Interestingly, the division of work has left an ambivalent area under DoD, which could be used to keep an eye on all matters. “Any matter which has an import on the defence policy has to be dealt by DoD,” the notification said. DoD is headed by the Defence Secretary and will remain in charge of large capital procurements for the services.

Among the major works shifted to DMA are all matters related to counter insurgency operations, the size, shape and composition of the Army, deployment of forces on the border, supply of arms and ammunition to neighbouring nations, aid to civil authorities, and promotion matters. On procurement side, cases involving revenue budget have been shifted to DMA while larger capital procurements remain vested with DoD.

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