The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has underlined the need to complete projects within the stipulated timeframe. Addressing a gathering here today after inaugurating a complex of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD), he commended the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which was the construction agency, for not only completing the project on time but also avoiding cost overruns. Lamenting the huge losses incurred by Central and State Governments due to delays in long gestation projects on account of time and cost overruns, Shri Antony motivated the DRDO to complete vital projects in time, saying that the organisation has proved that given the sincerity and will, it can deliver and meet its objectives.
Assuring the Government’s commitment to provide adequate manpower and fulfil the infrastructure needs, the Defence Minister asked Defence Finance officials to help the Services attain their targets. “Your officers must not only monitor the progress of budget utilization, but also come up with innovative solutions to help the Services manage their funds in an efficient and a transparent manner”, he said. The DAD has an important role to perform since the Defence Budget constitutes the single largest head of expenditure in the Union Budget, after interest payments, Shri Antony noted.
He commended the DAD officials for timely release of all pay arrears, well before Diwali, on account of Sixth Central Pay Commission implementation, to the Armed Forces personnel, numbering a huge 1.2 million. “Quick and efficient authorization, revision and payment of rightful dues to more than two million defence pensioners is and must be one of the topmost priority areas for the Government”, he added.
In his address the Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju welcomed the constitution of an effective grievance redressal system to ensure that no pensioner is put to any inconvenience. Dr Pallam Raju said that the Pension Adalats are being held regularly in different parts of the country to reach out to the pensioners. He asked the DAD to leverage the benefits of technology by transforming the current systems to an entirely computerized environment. “New initiatives include computerized generation of Pension Payment Orders, creation of pensioner profile and document imaging and management system for old records”, he added.
Shri Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Smt. Indu Liberhan, Secretary (Defence Finance) and Smt Bulbul Ghosh, Controller General of Defence Accounts, also spoke on the occasion. Dr VK Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Secretary Defence Research and Director-General, DRDO, was among the distinguished guests present on the occasion.