Amid the India-China military standoff near the Sikkim border, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) made a shocking revelation on Friday. It said that for at least 40 percent of different types of ammunition, the Indian Army has just about enough to fight 10 days of war. This is according to the stockholding in September 2016.
Out of 152 types of ammunition crucial to fight a war, 61 types would last 10 days of war, whereas it is compulsory for the Indian Army to hold ammunition enough for 20 days of intense battle.
Inadequate Quality of Ammunition Supplied Since March 2013
The CAG also slammed the State-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for critical deficiency in availability of ammunition to the Army. In a scathing report – tabled in the Parliament on Friday – the CAG criticised the OFB for inadequate quality of ammunition supplied to the Army since March 2013.
The CAG said despite serious concerns highlighted in a high-level report on 'Ammunition management in Army' in 2015, no significant improvement took place in the critical deficiency in availability of ammunition and quality of ammunition supplied by the OFB.
Shortfall in meeting the production target by OFB continued. Further, majority of the procurement cases from other than OFB which were initiated by Army headquarters during 2009-13 were pending as of January 2017.The CAG report
Talking about safety aspects, the federal auditor said ammunition depots with shortage of fire-fighting staff and equipment remained accident prone. The report also highlighted alleged irregularities and inefficiencies by various other entities relating to defence services.
The heavy vehicles factory faced criticism from the CAG for placing an order for radiators to be fitted in T-90 tanks on a firm that had no prior experience of manufacturing them.
The auditor also took strong note of the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi procuring 20 LAHAT missiles in spite of reservation of the foreign supplier due to technical constraints.
"During demonstration trials, the missiles failed to achieve the stipulated criteria/range of 1200M to 1500M. The army refused to accept the missile, thereby the payment of Rs 19.53 crore made to the supplier was rendered infructuous," it said.
(With inputs from PTI and India Today.)
CAG Report on Defence Shortages Disturbing: Congress
Describing as "disturbing" the CAG report which highlighted that the Indian Army is battling critical shortage of ammunition, especially for its tanks and artillery, the Congress on Saturday accused the NDA government of taking defence very lightly.
"The Prime Minister and his government have to answer definitely since when he assumed this office he took defence very lightly," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.
"Now if the country is not prepared or under prepared and the requirements, the critical needs of ammunitions and spares have not been met for three years then this government is definitely in the dock," he added.
"The report of the CAG is revealing and disturbing amid tension on both the borders," Sharma said pointing out that there was a stand-off on the northern borders with China and on the western frontier with Pakistan.