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Indian Army to Make $ 3Bln Purchase to Build Emergency Reserve

© AP Photo / Mustafa Quraishi, FileMaoist
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India’s apex auditing body had recently red-flagged gaping deficiencies in the Indian Army’s war wastage reserve claiming that it did not have enough ammunition to last even for ten days if a war breaks out.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Army has sought an additional fund of approximately $3 billion to purchase spares and ammunitions in addition to the already allocated defense budget. Writing to the defense ministry, the army has laid down its intention to make purchases in a phased manner over several years to plug the deficiencies and to build an emergency reserve.

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This comes in the wake of an audit report that pointed out major deficiencies in the Indian Army's war reserve stock. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) had said the Army lacked enough reserve to fight an intense war of ten or more days.

The army intends to make the purchases utilizing the emergency powers of the vice-chief of the army. Reviewing the 2016 Uri attack — a major terrorist attack on security forces at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government had decided to grant unlimited financial powers to the vice-chief of the army to make emergency purchases to make up for critical deficiencies in 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 types of weapons to build stocks for 10 days of intense fighting.

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Such purchases do not need to be cleared by the defense acquisition council, India's apex body for reviewing and approving defense purchases. The policy aims to cut down delays, especially in capital procurements.

India's defense ministry is able to allocate as less as twenty-percent of the total defense budget on capital expenditure (procurements) as most of the allocated budget is taken up by revenue, pensions and committed liabilities.

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