Amid tensions with China, India has empowered the security forces (the Indian Army, ITBP and other border forces) to keep a stock of arms and ammunition foreseeing a scenario of a 15-days war. The government is spending more than Rs 50,000 crore for the acquisition of defence equipment and ammunition from local and foreign sources, using this new right and emergency procurement powers.
The step, said a source, is in the direction of strong preparations with the possibility of a two-front war with China and Pakistan. Until now, the army has had the freedom to deposit stock for the 10-day war.
Government sources said the country is acquiring many weapons systems and ammunition to prepare stock for a 15-day war with the enemy. They said that the government approved the proposed increase in the stock limit for defence forces some time ago.
Once the forces were allowed to hold stock for the first 40-day war, but this was reduced to 10 days due to difficulties in the storage of weapons and ammunition, as well as the changing nature of the war. After the Uri attack, the security experts felt that the stock for war was low and the then Manohar Parikar-led Ministry of Defence increased the financial powers of the lieutenant generals of the army, navy and IAF from Rs 100 crore to Rs 500 crore.
The three forces were further given emergency financial rights to make purchases of essential weapons worth up to Rs 300 million. The defence forces are procuring a number of weapons, missiles and systems so that both can take effective action under adverse conditions. On Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the Indian Army and government were beating China on every front.
Jaishankar shuns diplomatese, hails security forces
Delivering the second Manohar Parrikar memorial lecture, Jaishankar said as India expands its global interests and reach, there is an even more compelling case to focus on its hard power. “The national security challenges faced by this rising India are obviously also going to be different. At one level, some of the more perennial problems associated with our national consolidation and development will continue,” Jaishankar said.
“In particular, a long-standing political rivalry is today expressed as sustained cross-border terrorism by a neighbour,” he said.
In a shift from his usual diplomatese, the minister said India had taught a befitting lesson to the Chinese army in Galvan already. He said the Narendra Modi government had been successful in exposing the Chinese government in diplomacy.
Jaishankar said that India’s resolve was being tested in Ladakh for a long time. The minister said that the country would always meet the challenge of national security. Describing the developments along the LoAC in eastern Ladakh as “disturbing”, Jaishankar added, whatever happened there was not in the interest of China as it was facing the prospect of losing credibility in India, which has grown in recent decades. It was developed with prudence.