Soldiers not getting clothes, shoes from Modi government, accuses Rahul

A report yesterday had claimed that supplies such as clothing (combat dress, berets, belts, shoes) to soldiers will be hit due to the move

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the Union government for coining “empty slogans” and accused it of asking soldiers to buy their own clothes and shoes. He used a media report of 5 June, which also claimed the Army is seeking to cut 50% supply from state-run ordnance factories, to back his charge.

“MAKE (empty slogans and useless acronyms) IN INDIA…. meanwhile, make our soldiers buy their own (sic) clothes and shoes,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

The media report had claimed that the Indian Army had decided to cut down its supplies from state-owned ordnance factories and ensure that the money is instead spent on procuring an adequate stock of critical ammunition and spares.

The report had further claimed that supplies such as clothing (combat dress, berets, belts, shoes) to soldiers will be hit due to the move and soldiers will have to spend their own money to buy uniforms and other clothes from civilian markets.

The Economic Times had reported yesterday: “Following the 2016 Uri terrorist attack, the Army found that 46 types of critical ammunition, including for the artillery, tanks such as Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot, anti-material, and 10 types of spares for vehicles and equipment were below 10 (I). The 10 (I) is ammunition and spares needed for 10 days of intense war.”

“Recently ordnance factories had protested against the move. A few days ago, a top Army officer had met a senior defence ministry official and convinced him of the reason behind the move. The move, however, could create a problem for the government, as ordnance factories and several MSMEs could go into litigation as they have several past orders from the Army.”

“The Centre has also identified eight types of ammunition for manufacture by Indian private firms for Rs 1,700 crore per year for the next 10 years. This ammunition includes 30mm used by the infantry, 120mm extended range, 23mm and 40mm grenades.”