The ammunition and spares shortfall was revealed in an internal audit the Indian Army conducted after the Uri military base camp attack by terrorists last year that left 19 soldiers dead.
"After giving serious consideration, the government has authorized vice-chief of army staff to issue an order for emergency purchases. There is no pre-determined cap on spending. Local unit chief is free to purchase required ammunition for war wastage reserve," defense sources said.
India currently imports nearly 50% of its ammunition requirements by value term, with an annual spending of more than $1.5 billion on ammunition. Due to shortcomings of state-owned ordnance factories, the Indian Armed Forces face severe shortage of ammunition which were highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the autonomous auditor, in its several reports. In 2015, one of such reports pointed that the mandatory war wastage reserve of ammunition, which should be 40 days, is only available for 10 percent of ammunition.
"It is a very positive step. It will help to quickly make up existing deficiencies. It will also reduce the time frame from RFI/RFP stage to delivery of contracted stores. In the long run, it will help to reduce stocking levels as replenishments will be quicker," Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retired) told Sputnik.
Last year, following a series of terrorists attack on military camps, the Indian Army had purchased arms and ammunition worth more than $2 billion from countries like Israel and Russia.