CAG raps govt for delay in procurement of howitzers | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CAG raps govt for delay in procurement of howitzers

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2011 01:41 IST
HT Correspondent

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of India has pulled up the defence ministry and Army for delaying procurement of artillery guns, which it said, had adversely impacted operational preparedness of the services and also resulted in substantial cost overruns.

The CAG pointed that the army was not able to induct any guns over two decades.

The CAG report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday said the defence ministry and Army failed in defining the requirement of specific gun system “that has deprived its artillery, for over a decade, of guns of latest technology, which are in service world over."

Procurement is not in sight in the foreseeable future, it said. Despite several attempts, the Army, after the Bofors gun deal controversy in late 80s, has not inducted even a single piece of new artillery gun, CAG said.

For the last 15 years, Army has been processing the cases to procure 400 155mm 52 calibre towed artillery guns, 145 Ultra Light and more than 140 wheeled and tracked self-propelled howitzers from vendors.

With no modern technology made available, the troops for over a decade are dependent on inventory of "obsolete technology of 1970 vintage", it said.

Commenting on ministry's policy to procure a self-propelled howitzers through "hybrid" route with the chassis of the Arjun tank, which itself was under development, the CAG said the "unwillingness to buy the integrated system has also delayed the procurement inordinately.The CAG report also said the National Cadet Corps has adopted incorrect practices in procuring items like mosquito nets and incurred an additional expenditure of Rs 21 crore.

(With PTI inputs)