Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has reportedly scaled down India’s war readiness from 40 days to 10 days of intense conflict under a new policy.
According to a report in The Free Press Journal, the new policy was cleared on December 30 with the assumption that the future conflicts would be short, swift and sudden.
Under the new policy, all the three armed forces have been asked to maintain the Minimum Accepted Risk Level (MARL) by stocking up weapons, ammunition and missiles and ensure all radars functional that should last a minimum of 10 days of intense conflict.
To improve slow procurements of arms and ammunition, the Vice-Chiefs of the three services have been given adequate fiscal powers to maintain this level of preparedness as the government does not want any chance for the military failing for want of any supplies.
To expedite defence purchases, the Indian Army’s Vice-Chief has been given the authority under this policy to spend up to Rs 200 crore for ammunition procurement, in consultation with the internal financial auditor.
Similarly, the Naval Vice-Chief has been authorised to spend up to Rs 80 crore to repair ships and submarines.
Quoting its Defence Ministry sources, the report says that the new policy was drawn up in consultation with the armed forces after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its 2015 report, expressed shock over the low level of the war readiness.
Slamming the dismal management of ammunition in the Army, the CAG report noted that there was total “disregard” of the policy to hold ammunition for 40 days of “intense” fighting under the war wastage reserves (WWR).
The report had also warned that India cannot sustain war beyond 15-20 days due to the crippling shortages in its ammunition stocks.