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  4. Alarming! With just 25 per cent supply of 9mm bullets, paramilitary forces go empty on ammunitions

Alarming! With just 25 per cent supply of 9mm bullets, paramilitary forces go empty on ammunitions

The scarcity of 9mm bullets has reached the level that there are not enough bullets available for firing practice and actual combat.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk Published on: July 03, 2016 13:10 IST
Alarming! Paramilitary forces face 75 per cent shortage in
Alarming! Paramilitary forces face 75 per cent shortage in 9mm bullets

New Delhi: The Indian paramilitary forces, having strength of nine lakh personnel, that not only guards the national borders but also deals with emergency situations like terrorist attacks, face a massive shortage of ammunition for their weapons. 

According to a report in The Indian Express, the scarcity of 9mm bullets, which is the primary ammunition used by paramilitary forces for close combat, has reached the level that there are not enough bullets available for firing practice and actual combat. 

The report states that the shortage of 9m bullets in 2016-17 is likely to exceed 75 per cent. While there is a demand of 9.3 crore bullets for paramilitary and state police forces, the Ordinance Factories Board (OFB) had agreed to supply only 2.3 crore bullets. 

“Even the current assurance of supply has come after much prodding by the home ministry. OFB was earlier committing to supply only 75 lakh bullets,” a senior MHA official told The Indian Express.    

Seeing the urgent need of supply of bullets, the home ministry has asked the forces to import bullets through a global tender for immediate requirement, and also to set up factories in order to manufacture their bullets to cater to the long-term demand. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asserted that the shortage of ammunitions has arisen due to the expansion of the police forces, the limited capacity of OFB to manufacture 9mm bullets, and the fact that its priority is to supply the armed forces. 

As per MHA figures, in 2014-15, the OFB supplied only 2.4 crore bullets, which was 42 per cent of the demand of 5.67 crore bullets. In 2015-16, the supply-demand widened as the OFB supplied 1.5 crore bullets, which was only 20 per cent of the demand of 7.5 crore bullets. 

A senior army personnel, posted at the Indo-Tibetan Border. told that in many units, personnel are getting only half of the required number of bullets for shooting practice, whereas some units are not able to practice due to ammunition shortage.

Talking about the scarcity of 9mm bullets in the states, a senior Bihar Police officer said, “Officers are expected to fire at least 70 rounds for practice annually. That has halved.”

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