The operational preparedness of the Indian Army was adversely affected after the Ordnance Factory Board could not provide it a significant quantity of the principal ammunition required by the force, a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report tabled in Parliament on Friday said.
The CAG also pulled up the ordnance factories for 18 accidents that occurred at the users' (defence forces) end relating to six ammunitions mainly because of fuze related defects and problems.
"A significant quantity of Army's demand for some principal ammunition items remained outstanding as on 31 March 2018, thus adversely affecting their operational preparedness. In addition, the exports by OFB decreased by 39 per cent in 2017-18 over 2016-17," the CAG report said.
On the issue of "Inadequate quality checks" by the factories and the quality assurance agencies, the government auditor pointed out that a "significant quantum of return and rejection of empty fuzes and filled fuzes".
The CAG also stated that due to the OFBs not being able to meet their production Targets, the exports by OFB decreased by 39 per cent in 2017-18 over 2016-17
On the issue of production of fuzes in ordnance factories between 2013-14 to 2017-18, the CAG said in ordnance factories, there were "Major shortfalls in production were noticed for eight types of empty fuzes mainly due to material constraints and quality problems."
"This resulted in slippages in the issue of related ammunitions/ spare filled fuzes to the Users leading to critical deficiency of seven types of ammunition (32 to 74 per cent) and five types of spare fuzes (41 to 94 per cent) at the Users' stock as on March 2018.
"Due to non-availability of spare fuzes, Army had stock of ammunition worth '403.27 crore lying in unusable condition," the CAG pointed out.
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