New Delhi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony Friday called for accountability, transparency and integrity in the defence accounting service, terming these virtues "an integral part of good governance."
"In today's era of globalisation, accountability has acquired new connotations. Accountability is no longer restricted to quantitative techniques and financial inputs and outputs," Antony said at the 264th Foundation Day ceremony of the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) here.
"It has become an integral part of good governance, with several aspects like integrity, transparency, responsiveness and sustainability becoming a part and parcel," he said.
Asking the DAD to enhance its payment delivery mechanism, he urged it to provide hassle-free services to the soldiers and their dependents.
"You must strive to provide enhanced customer satisfaction through hassle-free services and prompt and accurate payment of dues to the soldiers and their dependents," the minister said.
Appreciating the DAD programmes and initiatives for efficient disbursement of monthly pay and pension, Antony said: "The department has taken steps to implement Dolphin, an online monthly pay system for army jawans (soldiers)."
"It has taken several initiatives to utilise information technology to the maximum extent. The launch of two IT projects 'Vishwak' and 'Bhawan' reflects the resolve to provide user friendly services to the client."
Project Sangam, launched by DAD, further simplified the issue of revised pension payment orders after the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations, he observed.
Antony said most of the complaints regarding pay and pension were old. "True, most of these cases were baggage from the past as a consequence of pay commission recommendations and cabinet decisions on pay and pension hike. Yet these needed to be addressed in the shortest possible time."
"Ultimately, the taste of the pudding lies in its eating," he quipped, adding: "The veterans deserved their due as they had sacrificed the prime of their life in safeguarding our borders."