Refuting reports about shortage of ammunition, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today assured the Parliament that the Defence Forces were well equipped to face any eventuality.
Answering supplementaries during the Quetion Hour, Mr Jaitley said the question was raised earlier also in after the national auditor, in a latest report pointed out that the armed forces have a war wastage reserve of less than 20 days against the sanctioned period of 40 days.
“This question has been asked earlier also and I will only reiterate what I had said. Our defence forces have adequate equipment to face any eventuality,” Mr Jaitely said.
His assertion assumes added significance in the backdrop of the ongoing military standoff with China, which has been beating war drums day-in and day out, threatening India of serious consequences if the Indian troops are not withdrawn from the tri-junction of Doklam.
Earlier, Mr Jaitley had addressed the same question regarding shortage of ammunition in the Rajya Sabha stating that the armed forces were fully equipped to face any contingency and any shortages are being expeditiously addressed.
A CAG report has pointed out that that 55 per cent of ammunition used by the Indian Army would not last long to meet the minimum operational requirements.
he Minister said the report was about the shortage at a particular point of time and “significant steps” have been taken since then.
“The report was with regard to year 2012-13 and now up to March 2016. With regard to certain ammunition, the CAG had made an observation… They made it in 2013, they made it in 2016, these relate to availability at a particular point in time,” he had assured the House.
“Thereafter, significant steps have been taken by the government, including decentralisation of power – given to the Vice Chief,” he said.
The government has delegated powers to the Vice Chief of Army to directly procure 46 types of ammunition to fight short and “intense wars” without going to the Defence Ministry.
Last year, emergency procurement of weaponry worth Rs 20,000 crore was cleared after the terror attack in Uri on September 18, 2016.