Indian defence planning committee meets under NSA Ajit Doval, decides to fast track huge arms buying


*NEW DELHI: *The newly constituted all-powerful defence panel for defence planning headed by NSA Ajit Doval for chalking out the country's military and security strategy has decided to chart a time-bound action plan for accelerating military purchases, in its inaugural meeting here on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry ''the meeting of the Defence Planning Committee 'deliberated upon the geo-strategic landscape' and agreed to chart a time-bound action plan in keeping with its broad mandate".

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Doval and was attended by the three Service Chiefs.

The members of the newly-constituted defence panel which included Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Satish Dua, who is the Member Secretary, also attended the meeting.

The overarching Defence Planning Committee which was set up by the government last month, has been mandated to drive the country's military and security strategy, draft capability development plans and guide and accelerate defence equipment acquisitions in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plans to modernize the country's armed forces and their ageing war machines.

Led by NSA Ajit Doval, the all-powerful defence panel comes under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and works with an aim to make decisions on military purchases much faster.