New Delhi, July 22: A day after the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) red-flagged the shortage of ammunition for the Indian Army, a report claims that supplies of critical ammo used in tanks and artillery guns would begin next month. Also Read - Hindustani Bhau Files a Police Complaint Against Ekta Kapoor For Inappropriate Sex Scene in a Web-Series
Defence sources close to NDTV, reacting to the CAG report, said the supply of critical ammunition and fuses would be expedited to the meet the operational requirements by end of 2018. The sources claimed that several categories of ammunition, which are expected to be imported early next month, are in the final stage of inspection before being dispatched. Also Read - With Article 370 Gone, Army Now Wants to Buy Land in J&K to Set up Camp
The ammunition stockpile would further improve, the sources said, with the realisation of the Rs 12,000 crore deals inked by New Delhi following the Uri terror attack last September. Also Read - Over 5,000 Chinese Troops Present in Ladakh, Other Areas; India Increases Force
The CAG report also did not take take into account the ammunition which is already deployed for combat use at the borders, the sources claimed.
On Friday, the CAG submitted its report to the Parliament, claiming that 55 per cent of ammunition used by Indian Army would not last long to meet the minimum operational requirements. For the remaining 45 per cent, the Army has stock which could be put to use for a maximum of 10 days in case of an ‘intense-war’, it claimed.
The top audit body also pointed towards the insufficient steps taken after 2013 to improve the ammunition stock for the forces. As per the operational requirements target set for 2019, the Army should be equipped with ammunition which could last for ’40-days of intense war’.
“No significant improvement took place in the critical deficiency in availability and quality of ammunition… since March 2013,” the CAG remarked.
The report, casting doubts over the war-readiness of the Indian forces, comes amid the ongoing standoff in Doklam with the China’s People’s Liberation Army. The border row, which erupted nearly a month ago, has led to severe sabre-rattling from Beijing. The state-run media has warned New Delhi of suffering “major consequences” if its troops are not withdrawn from the Doklam plateau.
Considering the need to be optimally prepared for combat at the frontline, the government, in the past month, empowered the Vice Army Chief Lt General Sarath Chand to procure 46 types of ammunition for the forces, without the approval of Defence Ministry.