Amid the ongoing tension with China over the Doklam stand-off, a Compliance Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has exposed the poor condition of the Indian Army, reported The Indian Express. As per the report, the Army currently faces a shortfall of 40% of types ammunition to fight a 10-day long war as per the stock holding in September 2016 and faces a deficiency of 83% in the stock of fuzes for the artillery ammunition. Fuze is considered as the brain of the artillery ammunition and is fitted to the shell just before assembly/ firing. The CAG report has termed this situation critical and an area of high concern. As of March 2013, 50% of types of ammunition (85 out of 170 types) available was for less than 10 days of warfighting. As of September 2016, 40%, i.e., 61 out of total 152 types of ammunition was still in critical level, the CAG report pointed out.
CAG also slammed the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for this deficiency of ammunition in Army in its report which was tabled in the Parliament on Friday. Criticising OFB over the supply of ammunition, CAG said even though it had highlighted the concerns in 2015, no significant improvement took place in the critical deficiency in the 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 said in the report.
Apart from this, the federal auditor also blasted the defence research and development organisation (DRDO) for import a balloon costing Rs 6.20 crore under a project for development of aerostat surveillance system, saying it lacked rationale. “Further, the project itself did not achieve its objective despite an expenditure of Rs 49.50 crore,” the CAG observed.
The heavy vehicle factory in Avadi Tamil Nadu was also slammed in the CAG report for delaying the supplies of T-72 bridge laying tanks (BLT) which were scheduled to be delivered in a phased manner during 2012-2017. The auditor blamed frequent changes in the design of T-72 BLT for delay in the project. The heavy vehicle’s factory (HVF) also faced criticism from the CAG for placing an order for radiators to be fitted in T-90 tanks on a firm which had no prior experience of manufacturing them.