New Delhi: The government is examining an audit report that has recommended disbanding of the Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE), which has come under the scanner due to several land scams that have surfaced in recent months.
Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha that his ministry was also considering another suggestion to delink the Defence Estates from land acquisition process and provide for direct involvement of the armed forces for their land acquisitions.
"Keeping in view the very limited utility of the DGDE organisation, Defence Ministry may like to order a comprehensive study for disbanding this organisation from most of the activities from defence land management in a phased manner. The report (from CGDA) is under examination," he said in a written reply.
"The Controller of Defence Accounts assigned the Controller of Defence Accounts (Internal Audit) to carry out a special performance audit to examine the existing land acquisition system in order to identify bottlenecks that account for delay and to suggest systemic measures to be taken to ensure that the government does not end up incurring avoidable expenditure on account of interest," he said.
Noting that the study report had made a number of recommendations, Antony said one of them was for the service headquarters and other user agencies such as the DRDO, which may be authorised to deal directly with the state governments without intermediation from DGDE for acquisition of land.