New department to look after ex-servicemen

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New Delhi, Feb 4 : Defence Minister A K Antony today called upon defence officials to adopt a humane approach towards the requirements of ex-servicemen.

Inaugurating the Financial Controllers' conference here, Antony said: "The Government attaches great importance to the welfare of ex-servicemen."

"The creation of an ex-servicemen's Welfare Department in the Ministry of Defence headed by its own Secretary is an indication of the significance being attached to this area," he added.

He said: "The mechanics of financial management and prudence should not be allowed to overshadow the human side of our work."

The Minister asked the financial managers to upgrade their procedures and techniques by drawing upon the best practises followed the world over in the fields of audit, project management, logistics and budgeting.

"The department needs to keep abreast of the changing national and global security scenario and new developments in defence technology so that it can make meaningful contributions to our acquisition process," he added.

He further said that defence expenditure has grown considerably over the years and today it constitutes the largest single head of expenditure in budget after interest payments.

"The share of capital allocations in the defence budget has increased significantly from around 25 percent in 2000-01 to over 40 percent," he added.

The three-day conference will deliberate upon a number of critical issues relating to defence expenditure.

Minister of State for Defence, M M Pallam Raju and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh also addressed the conference.

ANI

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