SHILLONG, May 19 - With the AgustaWestland deal mudding the image of former Air chief, SP Tyagi, the Air Force’s Eastern Air Command (EAC) is adopting a transparent approach with its dealing worth Rs 8,000 crore.
The amount has been sanctioned by the Central Government as part of the country’s policy to modernise the EAC, sharing borders with China, to boost security.
Air Vice Marshal Manavendra Singh, Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration of EAC is the man responsible for the overall financial management and expenditure of the sanctioned amount.
Some of the projects, for which work is underway, are modernisation of airfields, Advance Landing Grounds and other associated infrastructure.
Senior EAC officials said there is a concerted effort by all stakeholders to ensure “public money is justifiably and judiciously expended” within the given time frame to bring up the war fighting potential.
However, in the AgustaWestland deal, there are allegations of middlemen close to the former Air chief Tyagi striking the deal, tweaking safety norms, for a kickback. However, these allegations are under investigation.
Therefore, the EAC convened a three-day high-level financial planning conference of Senior Accounts Officers of all airbases here at the EAC headquarters today.
The conference is being chaired by Air Marshal C Hari Kumar – the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of EAC. The conference is also being attended by Principal Integrated Financial Advisor (IFA) Rasika Choube and Integrated Financial Advisor, EAC and IFAs from various airbases from this Command. With so much in stake in terms of finance and planning, the conference aims to help plan the management of public funds under the EAC.
It also underlines the “smooth and timely flow of finances” for execution of the projects. Importantly, the brainstorming session would ensure that “protocols for procurement process, audit and use of non-public funds for welfare-related activities of air warriors,” aren’t compromised.
Meanwhile, the projects worth Rs 8,000 crore are in addition to Rs 1,100 crore set aside annually for other public fund expenditure in the Command.