The Indian Army in an internal report to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) mentioned that 960 crore funds have been spent on faulty ammunition in last 6 years, as reported by India Today.
These faulty ammunition has been manufactured by state owned company Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) in between 2014 to 2020.
960 crore is equivalent to purchase 100 155mm medium Artillery guns for Indian Army.
“Lack of accountability and poor quality of production results in frequent accidents. This results in injuries and deaths of soldiers. On an average, one accident takes place per week,” says the report that has been shared with the MoD.
The Indian Army has reported 403 accident in last 6 years caused due to faulty ammunition, while 27 troops killed in these accidents with 159 being seriously injured, including permanent disabilities.
This is not the first time that Army has raises the quality issues with Ordinance Factory Board manufactured equipments. OFB work culture is always been in question.
How Can Government fix this issue ?
In order to fix the faulty ammunition issues, government needs to speed up the corporatisation of OFB.
Corporatising is the only step that can improve the accountability and efficiency in ordnance suppliers.
The government also need to make efforts to include private players in this industry which can full fill demand of Indian Armed Forces.
Just this month, the Ministry of Defence appointed a KPMG-led consortium to advise the government on how corporatize OFB.
The OFB staff around the nation aggressively opposed the efforts made by Indian Government to corporatize the board.
However, we cannot maintain the lazy and inefficient work culture of OFB employees in return for the lives of army personnel.