Defence minister AK Antony on Tuesday rejected as "rumours" reports about shortage of a certain variety of tank ammunition and said shortcomings will always be there but the country's defence preparedness was better than before.
"These are all rumours. I can assure you that the country is fully prepared. India is in a much more stronger position compared to the past," he said, on the sidelines of the two-day IAF commanders' conference.
Antony's comments come a day after a Parliamentary panel asked the three service chiefs to appear before it on April 20 for a detailed presentation on India's defence readiness.
The minister told reporters, "There will always be some shortcomings and that is also in the process (of being addressed). We can't expect 100% requirements to be fulfilled and also that entire force is not on the front. They are all spread over." He was commenting on reports suggesting that the army's tanks units could wage war only for four days due to shortage of ammunition.
The debate over the country's defence readiness was triggered when the army chief flagged concerns about weakening capabilities of his force to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a leaked letter.
In a secret letter to the Prime Minister on March 12, Gen VK Singh had written that obsolete air defence systems, shortage of tank ammunition, ill-equipped Special Forces personnel and deficiencies in night-fighting capabilities had dented the army's capabilities.
Asked to comment on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence asking the three chiefs to appear before it, Antony said, "I am not the man to decide that. This decision relates to the Standing Committee."
The minister was satisfied that the Indian Air Force had concluded 317 contracts worth over Rs 1.11 lakh crore during the last five years. He said while some new platforms had already been inducted, more were in the pipeline.