NEW DELHI: The 15-lakh strong armed forces were on Friday granted special emergency financial powers by defence minister Rajnath Singh to speed up their ongoing efforts in the battle against the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Singh invoked “special provisions” to grant the financial powers to formation commanders around the country to establish and operate quarantine facilities and hospitals as well as undertake procurement of equipment and stores, apart from provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing efforts against the pandemic.

Under the powers, the Army, Navy and IAF vice chiefs, chief of integrated defence staff, general officer commanding-in chiefs and equivalents have been given full powers. “Corps commanders/area commanders, in turn, have been delegated powers up to Rs 50 lakh per case, while division/sub area commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to Rs 20 lakh per case,” said an official.

These powers have been devolved initially for a period of three months from May 1 to July 31. These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the medical officers of the armed forces last week,” he added.