By- Lt. Col. Ajay Kumar Sharma
PIB Defence, Imphal
On the occasion of completion of 02 years of Govt in power, The Ministry of Defence had following major achievements to mention :-
1. 1. Ongoing Schemes/Policies/Programmes/Initiatives since May 2014
A. One Rank One Pension (OROP) –
· Long pending demand of 40 years of the Armed Forces for OROP agreed to by Government and Order issued on 07.11.2015.
· Annual recurring expenditure will be Rs. 7488.70 crore.
· Payment of arrears from 01.07. 2014 to 31.12.2015 would be approximately Rs. 10,925.11 crore.
· 2013 will be the year on the basis of which pensions of all past pensioners would be re-fixed.
· Benefit will be effective from 01.07.2014.
· Arrears to be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all family pensioners, including Special/Liberalized family pensioners and Gallantry Award winners will be paid arrears in one instalment.
· The pensions will be revised once in every five years.
· 17,29,358 Ex-Servicemen or their next of kin have been paid Rs. 3186 crore till 09.05.2016. These benefits include payments to 4.5 lakh family pensioners.
B. Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016
· DPP-2016 has been in effect from 01.04.2016. The chapter on strategic partnership is under finalisation, through consultation with all stake holders.
· DPP-2016 promotes ‘Make in India’ paradigm, with greater emphasis on participation of MSMEs.
· DPP-2016 provides flexibility in procurement for urgent operational requirements of regular and special-forces, even during peace time.
· DPP-2016 creates a level playing field between the private and Defence Public Sector Undertakings in design and development projects.
· DPP-2016 allows for procurement of equipment with enhanced performance capability and quality parameters, which clearly meet the requirements of the Armed Forces.
C. Make in India
· DPP-2016 promulgated in April 2016 gives strong support to ‘Make in India’ by giving highest priority to Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category of capital procurement.
· FDI has been allowed upto 49 percent under automatic route and above 49 percent with FIPB approval on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and ‘state-of-the-art’ technology in the country.
· To promote design & development, revised ‘Make’ procedure issued, with Government funding upto 90 percent and preferential treatment to MSMEs for certain categories of projects.
· Industrial Licensing policy liberalised. 65 percent to 70 percent of the items i.e parts, components, sub-systems, raw materials etc. removed from purview of industrial licensing. Exchange Rate Variation (ERV) protection extended to Indian private and public sector for all categories of capital acquisitions.
· ‘Services’ as an avenue for discharging offsets restored.
· Make in India Portal for Defence Production launched in December 2015 - http://makeinindiadefence.com/. An interactive platform where clarifications can be sought on policies related to Defence Production. Portal provides information on policy and procedural issues on defence manufacturing industry.
D. Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)-
· Approximately 50 lakh Ex-Servicemen benefit from ECHS.
· 2029 empanelled hospitals (including 95 civil medical facilities approved since 22.12.2015) are part of scheme. Annual expenditure of Rs. 2363.64 crore.
· Two Prosthesis Centres - Endolite and Ottobock and their sub-centres empanelled since 09.10.2015. ECHS has been permitted to carry out repair and fitment of artificial limbs to beneficiaries.
· Digital Signature Certificates for polyclinics approved from 04.09.2015.
· To maintain transparency, efficiency and timely release of payments to the empanelled hospitals, ECHS has successfully completed the extension of online billing system to all regional centres. This pan India web based service has been implemented ahead of schedule, making a major difference towards delivery of quality healthcare.
E. Aid to Civil Authorities
Jammu & Kashmir Flash Floods – September 2014
· Armed Forces with NDRF launched joint rescue & relief operations.
· The Army through “Operation Sahayata” pressed into service 330 columns along with speed boats and inflatable rafts and rescued nearly 2.4 lakh people.
· The Indian Air Force through “Operation Leher” pressed into service 79 helicopters and aircraft and rescued 360 victims and relocated them to safer areas.
· Relief materials like blankets, tents, medical supplies, readymade foods, drinking water and communication equipment were airlifted to Srinagar, Jammu, Awantipur and other affected areas.
Evacuation of Indians & Foreigners in Yemen – March 2015
· Navy ships and Indian Air Force aircraft in coordination with Yemen Government and MEA launched massive evacuation operation “Op Rahat” in civil war torn Yemen.
· The affected people were rescued and brought to Djibouti first, wherefrom Indian Air Force aircraft and Indian Navy ships evacuated them to Mumbai and Kochi.
· Indian Air Force aircraft facilitated evacuation of nearly 2,100 Indian nationals in 11 evacuation trips.
Nepal Earthquake – April 2015
· India rushed its Armed Forces under “Op Maitri” to Nepal on the request of its Government.
· The operation was biggest ever to be undertaken in a foreign land.
· Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters undertook 1,636 sorties and evacuated nearly 800 casualties including 121 foreign nationals.
· Indian Army sent 18 medical teams, one Field Hospital and 10 Engineering Task Forces to different quake affected locations.
· This joint operation was able to rescue 865 critically ill stranded persons and distributed 358 tonnes of relief material.
· Five ALH and two Cheetah helicopters pressed into service and distributed thousands of blankets, tents, drinking water, readymade food and medicines.
Chennai Floods – December 2015
· “Op Madad” was started following request for assistance by State Government. Two rescue and relief columns comprising troops from Garrison Infantry Battalion at Chennai and Army’s Engineer elements were activated and began operations in Tambaram, Mudichur, Manipakam, Guduvancheri and Urapakkam areas of Chennai.
· More than 20,000 persons rescued and moved to safer areas.
· Army distributed over 1,25,000 relief packets provided by the State Government and some NGOs besides those from its own.
2. Of the above the most significant schemes/initiatives in terms of benefits to common man are:-
I. One Rank One Pension (OROP).
II. Make in India & DPP – 2016.