On Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh implemented the special provisions and granted Emergency Financial Powers to the Armed Forces. These provisions have been granted in order to empower them and speed up their efforts in controlling COVID-19 situation in the country.

Apart from provisioning of various services and works in order to support against pandemic, this would help in establishing and operating quarantine facilities/hospitals and undertaking the procurement/repair of equipment/items/material/stores.

The powers have been granted for a period of three months initially starting from 1st May to 31st July 2021, where Vice Chiefs of Armed Forces that includes Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, The Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs (GOC-in-Cs) and their counterparts of all three services have been devolved full powers.

While Corps Commanders/Area Commanders have been entrusted powers up to Rs 50 lakh/ case. The Division Commanders/Sub Area Commanders and their equivalents have been assigned powers up to Rs 20 lakh/case.

All these powers devolved are in addition to the emergency powers that were entrusted last week to the Medical Officers of the Armed Forces.

Last year also when the coronavirus pandemic broke out for the first time, the emergency powers were authorized to the Armed Forces. Through this, the Armed Forces had been able to control the situation faster and in an effective manner.