Centre authorises Army to make emergency purchases for a short, intense war

As the stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers continue at the Doklam plateau in Sikkim and the borders with Pakistan remains hot, India has quietly authorised the Indian Army to make emergency purchases of ammunition, stores, spares for several weapon platform worth thousands of crore so that the army is ready for a “short intense war,” top sources told India Today.

Typically, the Indian military is required to be ready to fight a short intense war that could last between 10 to 15 days.

An internal audit of the Indian Army conducted after Uri brigade headquarters were stormed by terrorists last year that left 19 soldiers dead had revealed huge shortfall in critical shortfall of artillery ammunition, tanks shells, fuses and spares for weapons platforms.

In retaliation to the terror attack, special forces of the Indian Army, aided by the Indian Air Force, had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed terror launch pads and Pakistan Army facilities.

An unknown number of terrorists waiting to cross over were killed in the raid.

The army identified 46 kinds of ammunition, spares for 10 weapons platforms like infantry combat vehicles and half-a-dozen mines of various kinds as critical for war fighting. These items can be purchased through the emergency purchase route.


The executive order authorising the Vice Chief of Indian Army to make emergency purchases was issued recently. The delegation of financial powers shortens the long winded process and red-tape plagued process of procurement.

“Unlike previous process, there is no per-determined cap on the amount that can be spent. Rather, the limit to spending has been tied to the minimum stores, ammunition that must be in the reserve of the army at given time. This is big shift,” a senior Ministry of Defence officer said.

After the internal audit of the Indian Army carried out by the office of the Master General Ordnance (MGO) revealed major gaps, the army was authorised to make emergency purchases till March 31, 2017 to plug the gaps.

These powers – to make emergency purchases bypassing the laid out process – now have been extended till further notice.

Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) too had highlighted severe shortfall of ammunition and spares. In a report placed before the Parliament in 2015, the CAG had observed: “while availability of authorised stock against War Wastage Reserve (WWR) to meet the expected duration of operation formed the basic criteria for ensuring the operational readiness of the Army, we found during the review that against the WWR of 40 (I) days, the availability of ammunition was only in 10 per cent of the total types of ammunition held (March 2013).”

It went on to note that “the acute shortage was a serious cause of concern directly impairing the operational readiness of the Army.”






Source:- ET

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