Indigenous and imported ammunition valuing Rs 273.75 crore reported defective was awaiting repairs for over five to eight years. Although the imported shell was still under warranty, Army HQ did not make efforts to get it rectified/replaced from the supplier under warranty.
The Ammunition ‘A’ was designated to be fired from T-72 Tanks. Mention was made in paragraph 8 of the Report No. 6 of 2003 of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Union Government – Defence Services (Army and Ordnance Factories), about the defects in the manufacture of the ammunition and the resultant segregation of ammunition valued at Rs 607.43 crore since January 2002. In their Action Taken Note, the Ministry stated in January 2005 that 38,200 rounds of the 1.35 lakh segregated ammunition had been made serviceable and action to get the remaining quantity repaired/replaced was under progress. Audit, however, observed that as of November 2009, 67,453 rounds valuing Rs 245.28 crore were still lying in segregated states.
The audit further observed that 1906 rounds of the ammunition were rejected during a visual inspection by Western Command in August 2004, due to the reasons such as loose/cracked primary and secondary cartridges and shot
detached from cartridge case and reported it to Army HQ. This ammunition was part of the 26,000 rounds of the ammunition imported under a contract concluded by the Ministry in July 1999, about which mention was made in
paragraph 4.6 of the Report No. 7A of 2001 of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Review of procurement for OP Vijay (Army). Although the imported ammunition was under warranty for a period of 10 years and the seller was contractually bound to either replace or rectify the defects free of charge, Army HQ did not take up the matter with the seller. Instead, Army HQ in September 2008 requested Ordnance Factory Board to carry out a thorough analysis of ammunition and to carry out the repair or replacement of 67,453 rounds (valuing Rs 245.28 crore) of indigenous
ammunition and 6191 rounds of imported ammunition (valuing Rs 28.47 crore) held in a defective state. In November 2008, the Directorate General of Quality Assurance suggested to Army HQ to take up the matter with the supplier as the imported ammunition was under warranty. Army HQ however did not take up the matter with the
supplier as of November 2009. In reply to an audit query, the Master General of Ordnance (MGO) branch of Integrated HQ/MOD stated in November 2009 that the delay in taking further action was due to the delay in getting complete
details of defective lots from all the Depots. MGO reported to OFB in December 2009 that there had been no progress in carrying out repair or replacement of 67,453 rounds of indigenous ammunition and 6191 rounds of
imported ammunition, despite repeated requests.
The Ministry stated in April 2010 that 1705 rounds of the imported ammunition was held in the segregated state, but added that no defective ammunition was held. The contention of the Ministry that no defective ammunition was held is indefensible since only ammunition in the doubtful categories is kept in a segregated state. As mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, even in December 2009, the MGO had reported to the OFB about the delay in carrying out repair/replacement of the indigenous/imported ammunition. Thus, indigenous and imported ammunition costing Rs 273.75 crore remained in a state “unfit for use” for over five to eight years. Such delays in making the ammunition fit for use are inexplicable.