In my last post I brought out the adverse effects bureaucratic procedures were having on the modernisation plans of Indian Armed Forces. Here are some excerpts from a news item in Times of India.
- A day after the interim budget disclosed the defence ministry had failed to spend as much as Rs 7,007 crore from last fiscal's capital outlay. The Defence Acquisitions Council, chaired by defence minister A K Antony ..... gave the green signal to procurements of offshore patrol vessels, fast-attack craft and radars for both Coast Guard and Navy in a step towards bolstering coastal security.
- Despite the 26/11 terror attacks and their aftermath exposing huge gaps in the operational capabilities of armed forces, the defence ministry is yet to get its act together as far as removing bureaucratic red-tape (emphasis added) and formulating long-term strategic plans is concerned.
- The defence ministry has surrendered well over Rs 20,000 crore capital outlay funds in the last five years, which are basically meant for acquiring new weapon systems and platforms. (No prizes for guessing why)
- Of the Rs 1,41,703 crore defence outlay in the 2009-10 interim budget, a 34.18% hike over last year's Rs 1,05,600 crore allocation, the capital component stands at a healthy Rs 54,824 crore. But unless the government takes urgent steps, the recurring ghost of unspent funds will continue to haunt the armed forces. (emphasis added)
The last bullet sums up the inefficiency of our bureaucratic system and red tape. And let us not get fooled into believing that giving the green signal to procurements, means that things are about to change any time soon. It can take up to three years or more for forces to get equipped with newly acquired hardware, post the so called green signal. Such are our systems.
Read the full piece here.