Refuting CAG Report, Jaitley Says Armed Forces Are Sufficiently Equipped With Ammunition

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| July 25 , 2017 , 16:25 IST

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) tabled last week which stated the Armed Forces have only sufficient ammunition to last 10 days of war has been refuted by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.

Assuring the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, after Opposition members raised concerns over the ammunition shortage as mentioned in the CAG report, Jaitley said that the defence forces are "sufficiently equipped" with ammunition.

The CAG report had said that the Indian Army is battling a critical shortage of ammunition, especially for its tanks and artillery and that from the total 152 types of ammunition, 121 types do not meet the minimum levels needed to fight a full-scale war.

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Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, saying that the shortage was a serious issue as tension continues along the border with both Pakistan and China.

"There is tension on the border, we know what China and Pakistan are doing. What is the reason that we do not have ammunition for more than 10 days," he said.

In response, Jaitley said that the report was in reference to a "particular point in time".

"A particular report was given in 2013, as a follow-up of that another report has been submitted recently, it will probably be taken up before the PAC. We don't discuss CAG report but I don't want to rest on that technicality," Jaitley said.

"The report has reference in relation to a particular point of time. Substantially thereafter significant progress has been made. Thereafter procedures have been simplified, powers have been decentralised and the armed forces are reasonably and sufficiently equipped - that we assure this House," he said.

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The government had recently decentralised the ammunition purchase power enabling the Vice Chief of Army to directly procure ammunition to fight short and 'intense wars' without having to go through the Defence Ministry. Last year itself, an emergency procurement of weaponry worth Rs 20,000 was cleared after the terror attack on the Uri army base in September.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the decision to decentralise ammunition purchase power was recent.

According to the operational requirements targets set for 2019, the Army should be equipped with sufficient ammunition that could last for '40-days of intense war'.

Tensions continue on both the Sikkim border with China and along the LoC with Pakistan.