New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS): Amid active border disputes with both China and Pakistan, the Indian Army spent Rs 18,000 crore last year to add to its firepower and provide logistics to its men, including emergency purchases worth Rs 5,000 crore, COAS General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Friday.
“We purchased material worth Rs 5,000 crore in 38 deals under emergency and fast-track scheme, which included arms and other material. Other than this, contracts under the capital procurement plans worth Rs 13,000 crore were finalised,” the Army chief said in his address on the Army Day in Delhi.
He said that the Indian Army had identified 29 modernisation projects entailing an expenditure of Rs 32,000 crore for the future. Along with private industry and academia, the Indian Army will endeavour to contribute to a self-reliant eco system in the country.
“This will promote indigenous technology and make us less dependent on imports,” the Army chief said.
Gen Naravane pointed out that self-reliance of the armed forces was an integral part of the modernisation plans under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’.
While light machines guns, special vehicles, and protective gears were among the items purchased for infantry personnel, infantry combat vehicles, long-range artillery and other procurements were made for mechanised infantry.
Highly advanced equipment and machines were bought for engineers and communication equipment for Corps of Signals.
Not just emergency purchases were made for troops to sustain themselves during the harsh winters, step to ensure the welfare of their families were also taken amid the stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh.
The Chief of Army Staff said that Army action in Ladakh, named ‘Operation Snow Leopard’ was notified to ensure liberalised family pensions, war injury element and higher ex gratia for the families of soldiers killed or injured in action.
India lost 20 soldiers in June 2020 during a violent clash with China troops in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.
Many of the emergency purchases were fast-tracked as the Indian Army prepared to tackle the ongoing stand-off with China in Ladakh.