Sitharaman to hold daily meeting with service chiefs, Defence Secretary

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New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has decided to hold daily meetings with all three service chiefs and the Defence Secretary in order to have quick decision making in the ministry, and special emphasis has been laid on acquisitions, an official statement said on Monday.

The statement said the minister, who took charge last Thursday, has held a number of meetings with senior officials to familiarise with the activities and functioning of the Defence Ministry and has already issued “clear directions” on “critical issues”.

Sitharaman has laid special emphasis on the need to step up the pace of acquisition proposals.

The minister has also decided to hold meetings of the Defence Acquisiton Council, the highest decision making body on defence procurement in the ministry which is chaired by the minister every fortnight.

Usually the meetings of DAC were held once in a month, though at times the gap between two meetings have been longer.

A whole range of meetings have been scheduled with the Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs to review defence preparedness and allied issues of strategic interests, and the minister will now meet the three chiefs as well as the Defence Secretary every day to facilitate “quick decision making”, the statement said.

Other areas of focus would be settling all outstanding land related issues for infrastructure projects and matters relating to welfare of Defence personnel and their families, the statement added.

Sitharaman was elevated to the rank of a Cabinet Minister and given the crucial charge in the recent reshuffle of the Narendra Modi Cabinet. After taking over, she had said she would be a round the clock Defence Minister and has since then also visited Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

–IANS

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