Representational image of military equipment in Ladakh | Photo: ANI
Representational image of military equipment in Ladakh | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: The armed forces are currently working on over 100 emergency procurement contracts — with a ceiling of Rs 500 crore each — in the wake of tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

This procurement could easily eclipse the Rs 11,000 crore worth of contracts inked after the Uri terror attack in 2016, ThePrint has learnt.

Government sources told ThePrint that there will be no shortage of funds for the armed forces, and any additional funds that may be needed will be provided.

The contracts being pursued include those under capital budget. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had, on 15 July, given the go-ahead with Rs 300 crore worth of capital acquisitions to meet emergent operational requirements.

As reported earlier, the armed forces are on a shopping spree and the Army is in the process of procuring armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition fired by the T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks, additional Heron drones, Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS), mines and high altitude clothing, among other things.


Also read: IAF to induct 5 Rafale fighters on 29 July in Ambala, their first mission could be in Ladakh


Not all contracts are worth Rs 500 crore

Sources said the Army alone is pursuing 100 contracts, both under revenue and capital budget heads.

“These contracts have an upper ceiling of Rs 500 crore. This does not mean that all contracts are for Rs 500 crore. Some could be as less as Rs 25 crore while some would be closer to the ceiling,” a source explained.

Another source said emergency procurement powers extended to the armed forces in June were important, given the tensions with China.

One of the sources cited above said that between January 2014 and October 2016, 17 Army contracts were inked under emergency procurement by the Ministry of Defence, totalling Rs 400 crore.

In October 2016, emergency powers were extended to the services by the Narendra Modi government.

Between October 2016 and December 2016, the Army alone inked contracts worth about Rs 11,000 crore under emergency procurement provisions. These dealt with operational requirements like arms, ammunition, radars and mines, among other things.

Sources said the figures for the Navy and the Air Force were different, but lower than the Army’s.

‘There will be no shortage of funds’

Sources said the forces are currently managing the funds from what was already allocated to them in the Union Budget 2020.

“The funds for the emergency contracts are coming from what has already been given to the defence ministry,” a source said.

But the source added that if the budget is not adequate for making other payments under the normal procurement process, a request for additional funds will be made to the finance ministry around September.

“There will be no shortage of funds for the armed forces,” he asserted.

Laxman Kumar Behera, research fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, said nine times out of 10, the finance ministry turns down the request. “However, this time the defence ministry will most likely get the additional funds that they will seek. The threat from China is real. Last year too, they got an additional Rs 10,000 crore,” he said.

Sunil Kumar Kohli, former Financial Advisor to Defence Services (FADS), who retired in 2018, said the armed forces manage well since the entire payment is not made at once.

“The payments are spread out. Under emergency procurement, the forces do have to make some additional payments up front, and hence, they reprioritise. What also happens is that bottlenecks are removed under emergency procurement,” he said.

Kohli added that the forces have, in the last few years, not surrendered any funds from the capital budget, which shows that a lot of procurement is being done.


Also read: Here’s how Army is getting 30,000 additional troops winter-ready in Ladakh


 

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16 Comments Share Your Views

16 COMMENTS

  1. Our famous procurement machinery sleeps most of the time, and wakes up only when there is a crisis to make “emergency” purchases. It is not capable of working in an efficient, smooth manner in the normal course. Because it is run by incompetent buffoons who are never held accountable. The nation pays with its self respect and the lives of young soldiers.

  2. “Yudha Kale Shatsrabhyasaha” . Preparing for war while at War: Distracts from Corruption and Reservations which is the leit motif of “Governance”

  3. Because for almost one decade during congress Regime not even a single needle was bought for Armed Forces. The annual budget allotment for Armed Forces has always been less than desired

  4. India is going for 11th hour purchases , even that is outdated weapon , i.e. T 90 Tanks, Outdated fighter jets, etc, why we are not buying 5th generation fighter jets, why we are not going for ATGM , supersonic aircraft carrier killer missile , best UAV etc, we are going for outdated weapon so sad

    • Why are you so naive, advanced technology and weapon needs hard , time-consuming training and induction in armed forces for proper integration takes time. Do we have that time, no, so it’s better to acquire weapons we can operate with high efficiency

  5. If you think the Chinese are only interested in Ladakh you are mistaken. They already have a lot of it under their boots. What they really want is Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Bhutan. And unlike 1962, this time they will not withdraw after they get these areas.

    Emergency purchases by the Indian Armed Forces will not come on time, and even if some do come before the balloon goes up, the troops wouldnt have got familiar with them.

    Everybody knows this, but the man in uniform is being made an ass. Money my friends is what makes the mare go.

  6. You all should be obliged to sit in the decision making board of defense and finance ministries..😃😃😃😃

  7. Looks like Indian armed forces are really good at waiting for the last moment when the action is well under way and start procuring things left, right and centre. Why not procure things well in advance and even get the feel of it, as it would get maximize results in actual battle scenario in an expert and accustomed hand! Tell those hot shot babus in the finance ministry the danger posed by both Pakistan and China and having the latest Armaments is the only way to defend and minimize the threats.

  8. Was just wondering if the kick back from these emergency procurement is funding the coffers of BJP through electoral bonds because there is nothing in public domain about the 10000 crores being spent by armed forces on which new procurement. The threat is today and I am not aware of any arms Supermarket where goods are available for immediate dispatch..is it some other porridge cooking whose foul smell is being covered under national propaganda..time to wake up and smell the coffee.

  9. Most happy will be weapons manufacturers their Indian agents sitting government administration, they will be richer…. by our own tax payers money. … after those government administrators will simply jacked up taxes to become more rich….. and tax payers poorer….

  10. We had the lowest Defence budget during the BJP rule for the first 5 years. Our Armed Forces are critically starved of weaponry, aircraft and ships.
    Although not as bad as the Nehru days do we always have to receive a ‘Chinese’ shock to wake up? Sadly in our country the politicians are illiterate as far as Armed Forces go. Our general purpose bureaucrats think that they need to “tame’ our Armed Forces by denying them their requirements. Not only that they gloat when they ‘subdue’ our Armed Forces. We dont need China to do it.
    Instead of our Armed Forces Chiefs reporting tot he RM they report to an Intelligence expert who has been appointed as the NSA. Sadly this former Intelligence Bigshot failed to read the writing on the wall when China had been building up in Ladakh. Our RM Rajnath Singh has been reduced to a figure head whose role seems to give lecturees about ‘kadi ninda’. It is to hit back at the Advani – MM Joshi faction while keeping him happy.
    Unfortunately we have family led opposition party with an idiot of a politician who keeps making stupid statments. What is worse all the experienced politicians in that Party keep bowing and scraping the floor to the Family.
    Let us hope this Chinese shock wakes up our leading politicos and babus.
    Our soldiers will keep bravely sacrificing their lives despite all these blunders by our Govt.
    Jai Hind!

    • Our leading politicians and high class Babus/ bureaucrats should wake up without delay to support national defence issues to counter Chinese & pakistani joint threats at present as well as in future. Mere speech ( hollow statements) will serve as nonsense value and will be deceptive for national security. India ” ab result mangta hai ” at faster pace for our competitive survival and global values.

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