The CGDA, Smt Bulbul Ghosh, felt honoured by the presence of the Hon’ble RM as it reflected his recognition of the Department’s work and commitment. She thanked the senior retired officers for their vast dedicated service because of which the Department stands on strong footing today.
She spoke on the tremendous growth of the department both in terms of quality of workforce as well as infrastructure, in consonance with massive increase in the defence budget. Defence Budget of the country constitutes almost 26% of Non-plan expenditure of Govt of India. For effective financial management of resources, considerable delegation of powers has been done in last 10, 15 years and to provide financial advice cover to large number of CFA,s, Integrated Financial Advisors have been provided in various parts of country. These changes have led to major re-organisation of the department and further reforms would continue.
She informed that the department, of late, has focused on four key areas, namely:
· Functioning of IFAs
· IT Projects
· Vision Document
She was happy to note that the IFAs have not only ensured the speedy clearance of cases but have also utilized the delegated budget effectively. She felt happy to note that the success of the IFA system can be gauged from the fact that she has being getting several requests from the services for additional IFAs. In the same vein, she requested the services to treat the IFAs as one of their own officers.
Defence Pensions, she said, continues to be the high priority area for the Department. To maximize the satisfaction of the defence pensioners regular pension adalats are being organized in different areas of the country. The arrears and revised pension for the 6th Pay Commission will be paid expeditiously to all the defence pensioners.
Emphasizing the Department’s persistence in streamlining its functioning by introducing systemic innovations to maximize customer satisfaction she mentioned two recent path-breaking initiatives taken by the Department. First project relates to – simplification and modernization of the PBOR salary payment system which will not only ensure direct monthly credit of salary to the bank accounts of the PBORs but would also lead to prompt compilation of expenditure, simplification of accounting and elimination of suspense account. The pilot project for payment of salaries to PBORs of 11th Gorkha rifles was successfully completed in August this year. The remaining offices would be covered as soon as the records of bank accounts of each PBOR are delivered to our PAOs by Army.
The second , being evolved by the department is e-ticketing for rail journeys. This e-ticketing project would provide a virtual PRS in each unit of Army, Navy and Air Force and would thus enable availability of train tickets at unit locations on real time basis, thereby replacing the unwieldy system of issue of manual warrants and concession vouchers for obtaining railway tickets. The pilot project for e-ticketing is to become operational very soon.
She announced that for the first time ever a vision document and a roadmap has been prepared for the Department. The Hon’ble RM was also presented with a copy of these documents. The CGDA reassured the RM about the Department’s commitment towards rendering responsive, efficient, ethical and transparent service delivery.
She thanked the Hon’ble RM profusely for his generous gesture of re-christening the DAD Excellence Awards as “ Raksha Mantri Award for Excellence”. Thanking him for supporting the department in all its other endeavours, she said that the Department would continue to look upto him for sustained guidance and amidst all the celebrations would never forget to a honest self introspection and appraisal in order to take the Department to greater heights.
Speaking on the occasion Smt. Indu Liberhan, IDAS, Secretary (Defence Finance) congratulated the awardees and urged the IDAS officers to spearhead the transformation within the department. She said the department now needs to focus on its role as an all embracing financial management and not just on its role as a payment, accounting and auditing organisation.
The Raksha Mantri, then presented the three “Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence” to DAD functionaries. The three winners of this year were – the team of administration section from CGDA office ( Shri C Someswaran, ACDA, Shri Sandeep Lakhanpal,AO, Shri S K Sharma, AO,Shri Rajesh Kalia, AAO,Shri Shaleen Sharma, AAO,Shri U S Arya, AAO, Shri S P Sharma, Sr. Auditor), Shri D K Srivastava, AO – from PCDA (P), Allahabad, Team from PAO (ORs) EME, Secunderabad ( J Venkatasubramanian, AAO, Smt K Rama Devi, AO, Shri A J Noronha, AAO, Shri P Aswani Kumar, AAO ).
Congratulating the Department for constantly striving to improve the functioning of the financial management of the MoD and Services, the Raksha Mantri urged the Department to study and imbibe the international best practices of internal audit in context of enhanced delegation of financial powers. He lauded the department’s efforts in exploring new areas like audit through computers.
Reiterating the Hon’ble PM’s emphasis on service delivery mechanisms, he urged the department:
· To ensure prompt delivery of government benefits to the defence pensioners
· To exhibit high degree of responsiveness in redressing the pensioners’ grievances, and
· To install a fully functional complaint redressal apparatus
He asked the Department to be prepared for bringing in systemic reforms and implement “Outcome Budget” by establishing clear input/output linkages and adopt the Finance ministry’s directions on introducing Accrual Accounting as a tool for efficient asset management.
Congratulating the winners of the “Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence” he termed them as examples of self-driven reformers within the department who have worked that extra mile in finding a creative solution to the problems of their customers. He conveyed his best wishes to the Department for its bright future.
Shri D Lahiri, IDAS, Addl. CGDA delivered the vote of thanks.
The award ceremony was followed by a cultural performance from the staff members of the Department and their wards.