Galwan Valley clash: Govt grants emergency financial powers to three services

New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) The government has granted the three services emergency financial powers of up to Rs 500 crore per procurement project to buy ammunition and weapons in view of the escalating border standoff with China, government sources said Sunday.

The special financial powers have been given to the forces to procure weapons and military hardware at short notice to enhance their operational preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), they said.

The government has also relaxed certain rules to cut delays in military purchase like allowing the three services to procure required weapons and equipment from a single vendor, the sources said.

Twenty Indian Army soldiers were killed in a violent clash in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15, triggering a massive escalation in tension between the two countries.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has already directed the Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to enhance their operational readiness along the LAC, the 3,500 km de-facto border between India and China, amid fears of fresh confrontation.

Military sources said the Army is going to use the emergency financial powers to expand its stock of ammunition as there is little possibility of any resolution of the standoff soon.

'The three services have been given emergency financial powers of up to Rs 500 crore per procurement project,' said a source.

The clash in Galwan Valley was the worst cross border confrontation between the two sides in 45 years. China’s People’s Liberation Army has not yet talked about the number of casualties it suffered.

The Chinese soldiers used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs in carrying out brutal attacks on Indian soldiers after they protested the erection of a surveillance post by China on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Galwan.

The two armies were engaged in a standoff in Galwan and several other areas of eastern Ladakh since May 5 when their troops clashed on the banks of the Pangong Tso.

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.

Prior to the clashes, both sides had been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it was necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. PTI MPB RT