New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat met a team of Finance Commission members in Ladakh on Tuesday to apprise them about the financial outlay required for improving the operational capability of the forces.
The team of the 15th Finance Commission led by its Chairman N.K. Singh is in Ladakh for a field visit to assess the conditions under which the troops operate and to assess the financial needs for modernization and infrastructure development.
A day earlier, General Officer Commanding in Chief of Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, had also met the Finance Commission team in Ladakh.
The three service chiefs and senior officials of the Defence Ministry had met Finance Commission members in New Delhi last month to discuss mechanisms through which the armed forces can raise a chunk of their own budget.
In August this year, the Finance Ministry had issued a notification inserting Paragraph 9A to the terms of reference of the Finance Commission, which reads: "The Commission shall also examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up, and if so, how such a mechanism could be operationalized."
On Tuesday, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat explained to the team the issues pertaining to the peculiar terrain, weather and altitude challenges of the Ladakh Sector, which require specialized equipment and skills for performing operational tasks. He also apprised the team that the focus on improving connectivity to the border areas in the recent years had greatly improved the efficacy of the troops deployed along the borders.
A Defence Ministry official said the Finance Commission team has assured the Army of all support required to discharge their duties effectively. (IANS)