Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Despite critical CAG report on military preparedness, Arun Jaitley says 'armed forces sufficiently equipped'

New Delhi: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that Indian armed forces are "reasonably and sufficiently equipped" to defend the sovereignty of the country.

The remarks from the Defence Minister came in the wake of a CAG report flagging that the Indian Army was facing a critical shortage of ammunition that can last just 10 days of war.

"Why don't we have arms and ammunition to fight more than 10 days of war," he asked. "The people are concerned. Please do whatever is needed to save the country."

Ripun Bora (Cong) raised the issue through a Zero Hour mention, saying major decisions for procurement taken during 2009 and 2013 by the previous UPA government, have not been approved by the present government.

A Rs 16,500 crore plan prepared by the Defence Ministry too has not yet been implemented, he said, adding the CAG had in its report pointed to "very bad condition of Indian Navy" with 38 accidents taking places in the last few years.

The safety organisation too has not been functional because of lack of approvals, he said.

Jaitley said the CAG report has 2013 as a reference point and there have been follow-ups.

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