In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that any mismanagement like "in our neighborhood" can lead to fiscal chaos and took a jibe at Prime Minister Imran Khan for using a special plane of Saudi Crown Prince on his trip to the US.
"Our neighbor is a living example of financial mismanagement... Excessive militarisation and focus on wrong policies in the neighborhood has led to a situation where a country could be blacklisted by international agency, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for terror financing and its Prime Minister is struggling to arrange even for a plane to attend a global event," he said at the annual day celebrations of Defence Accounts Department (DAD) of Ministry of Defence.
Singh's jibe was in reference to Imran Khan and his delegation's arrival in the US ahead of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meet in September, which was facilitated with a jet given by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Singh was emphasising on the importance of financial prudence in an emerging economy like India.
He said that national security has today become a multi-dimensional concept, with economic strength, energy, food security and environmental protection among others being its key dimensions.
Asserting that the Central government is sensitive towards adapting to the changing environment, the minister assured that all barriers that come in the way of development would be removed.
"I am interacting with the Armed Forces, scientists and defence experts in different parts of the country to understand their working and find ways to improve them," he said.
He emphasised on the positive interpretation of rules to avoid delays in government projects, keeping in mind the welfare of jawans working in far-flung areas.
"There is a need to institutionalise the outcomes of successful models and work on the failures of the unsuccessful ones," he said, stressing on harnessing best practices and convert them into "standard operation protocol."
The minister lauded DAD for efficiently accounting and utilising the huge Defence Budget and assuring that the soldiers receive their entitled financial benefits within a stipulated time.
He appreciated the Online Jet-Fuel Accounting System (OJAS) developed by a team of DAD, under which the bill payment of IOCL has been digitised using an e-billing system. He said, Rs. 21 crores saved from the system in the first year itself could be utilised for preparing a road map for Oil PSUs and other components for MoD.
Singh also appreciated the efforts of the department, especially for more than 32 lakh pensioners and in facilitating faster financial decision making.
He hailed the DAD for setting up a Call Centre for Defence Pensioners as well as Pension Adalats in remote areas.
"In 2018-19, 19 Defence Pension Adalats were organised. I am extremely happy to note that the employee satisfaction in those 'adalats' was 99.75 per cent," said he.
Singh also stressed devising a mechanism, under Digital India, where all problems are dealt with automatically with full sensitivity and pensioners do not have to go from pillar to post in this regard.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Secretary, Defence Finance, Gargi Kaul and officers of DAD and MoD were also present on the occasion.
DAD is one of the oldest departments under the Government of India. It is responsible for complete finance and internal audit functions not only for defence service viz Army, Navy and Air Force but other related organisations like DRDO, Ordnance Factories, Border Roads, Coast Guard, and the canteen stores departments.
The department has presence across the length and breadth of the country through its more than 11,000 offices at 250 locations.