NEW DELHI: In view of the ongoing border standoff between India and China, the government on Wednesday delegated powers to the armed forces to progress cases of urgently required weapons and equipment up to Rs 300 crore to meet their immediate operational requirements.

A special meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was convened, which delegated the powers for progressing urgent capital acquisition cases up to Rs 300 crore to the armed forces to meet their emergent operational requirements, the defence ministry said. “This will shrink the procurement timelines and ensure placement of orders within six months and commencement of deliveries within one year,” the ministry said.

The DAC was held due to the border standoff along the Line of Actual Control with China in Eastern Ladakh and the need to strengthen the armed forces. Thousands of troops and war-waging equipment have been deployed by both countries along the border here, even as talks are taking place to defuse tensions and has led to pulling back troops in some areas in Eastern Ladakh. On Tuesday, the fourth round of Corps Commander level talks for further disengagement between the Indian and Chinese armies took place for about 15 hours.

Earlier this month, the DAC approved the procurement of long range land attack cruise missile systems with a range of 1,000 km, Astra missiles and 33 frontline fighter aircraft, besides other platforms at a cost of Rs 38,900 crore. The 33 fighters include 21 MiG-29 aircraft and 12 Su-30 MKI. This would be an important procurement for the IAF, which has deployed its assets at key locations along the LAC.

Last month, the government granted financial powers up to Rs 500 crore per project for the acquisition of critical ammunition and weapons required in an all-out or limited conflict, to the three defence forces. The powers given to the Vice Chiefs are for procuring weapons and equipment at short notice.