The government has given special financial powers to the Army to deal with critical deficiencies in ammunition and spares to wage a short and swift war amid tensions with China and Pakistan. Army sources told The Indian Express that the government order delegating financial powers to the vice-chief of army staff was issued last week.
The order allows the army to make up for deficiencies in 46 types of ammunition and 10 types of spares for weapon platforms, provided the budgetary support is available. This could possibly mean army contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore from revenue expenditure, but this quantum of funds is unlikely to be available within the current financial year. The funds would only make the existing equipment serviceable and provide ammunition for existing weapon platforms. Procurement of new equipment and military platforms is done from capital portion of the defence budget.
A proposal to include 22 types of armaments and six types of mines in the delegated financial powers to the vice chief is also expected to be approved soon. The government asks the army to have stocks of ammunition for 40 days of intense war fighting. But the CAG has pointed out that many critical ammunition of armoured, air defence and artillery were not sufficient to last for even 10 days of intense war fighting.