Bolstering national security top priority: Defence Minister

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said bolstering national security has been "our top priority since the beginning", adding that the allocation of a total budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore to the Ministry of Defence in 2022-23 is a testament to that unwavering resolve.

"As India has completed 75 years of independence, it is moving forward with renewed confidence and determination under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 'Amrit Kaal' to become one of the most powerful countries in the world by 2047. This goal can only be achieved if India has a strong military, which is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons or equipment, manufactured by an 'Aatmanirbhar' defence industry," said Singh while launching several digital initiatives of Defence Accounts Department (DAD) during its 275th Annual Day celebrations here on Saturday.

The initiatives included System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) mobile app, Pay System for Agniveers, International Air Ticket booking module in Defence Travel System (DTS), Defence Accounts Receipts and Payment System (DARPAN), Defence Civilian Pay system and Defence Accounts Human Resource Management System.

In his address, Singh commended the DAD for taking forward the 'Digital India' vision of the Government, stating that the new initiatives will increase transparency and efficiency in the functioning of the Department.

The Defence Minister also underlined the important role the department in realising the vision of 'Aatmanirbharta' in Defence.

"Sixty-eight per cent of capital procurement budget has been earmarked for the domestic industry during Financial Year 2022-23, which underlines the government's commitment towards achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The DAD should bolster their support to the Government's efforts through speedy decisions, as delays not only lead to loss of time and money, but also adversely impact the combat readiness of the country," Singh said.

Elaborating on the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Defence Secretary for the performance and efficiency audit of various aspects of Ministry of Defence, Singh said that the committee through audit will review the work being done in the Ministry from a new and creative perspective.

This will not only increase the efficiency of the Services, but also reduce wasteful expenditure, he said.

On the occasion, Defence Minister Singh also gave away the Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2022 to three teams for exhibiting exemplary initiative in implementing key department projects -- development, testing and implementation of SPARSH; implementation of E-Concurrence in DRDO and Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) Bharati: Your PAO, A call away 24*7.


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