NEW DELHI: The government, keen to equip Central paramilitary forces with the latest weapons and equipment without any procedural delays, has fast-tracked the procurement process by limiting the sanction stages to two instead of the existing three and allowing qualitative requirements to be finalised at the level of the forces rather than the home ministry.
“This is the biggest overhaul of the procurement process for Central forces, which started in September when many financial powers were delegated to director-generals of the forces. The latest norms seek to delegate financial powers further to the level of commandant in the Central forces,” a senior home ministry official told TOI on Tuesday.
The work on updating the procurement norms to give an impetus to decision-making and improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Central forces had started soon after home secretary Rajiv Gauba took over on August 31, 2017.
In the latest set of reforms, the home ministry further rationalised the sanction process by clubbing the authorisation and procurement sanction stages into one, followed by expenditure sanction. “This will reduce the time taken by one-third, which in most cases would be several months,” said an officer.
As per the revised norms, the Central forces shall not only frame the qualitative requirements for the equipment to be procured but also finalise them at their level, rather than putting it up to the home ministry. The committee of forces, comprising special DG or additional DG-level officers, will finalise the qualitative requirements, which will then be approved by DG of the nodal force. “This shall cut down significantly the time taken for finalisation of tenders,” said a home ministry official.
Even the tender purchase committee may now be headed by special DG or ADG rather than DG of the forces. Besides, the Central forces can now procure for trial items up to Rs 2 crore, which translates to a 100% enhancement from the earlier level of Rs 1 crore.
Also, to cut on delays due to need to test sample of many weapons and equipment, it had been decided that results of such trial shall be valid up to two years. “The same equipment or weapon need not be sample tested again in a different tender process during this period,” said an officer.
Source : timesofindia