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CAG: OFB supplied banned anti-aircraft ammunition to Army in 2015

In its latest report, the CAG has said that the Indian Army received “banned” anti-aircraft ammunition worth around Rs 39 crore from the OFB
New Delhi: In its latest report tabled in the Lok Sabha, the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) of India has said that the Indian Army received “banned” anti-aircraft ammunition worth around Rs 39 crore from the OFB (Ordnance Factory Board) in August 2015. The report, which was presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, said that after an accident took place with this ammunition “K” at Gopalpur firing range in November 2014, the Army Headquarters (AHQ) had asked the OFB to stop its production from December 2014 onwards.

CAG says ban on OFB ammunition was lifted in Sept 2015

The report added that the ban was lifted in September 2015 when a recommendation by a board of officers pertaining to improvements in the ammunition “K” was accepted by the AHQ. The AHQ, on its part, had informed the OFB that the ammunition produced between December 2014 and September 2015 will not be accepted, the CAG said. However, the CAG noted that the OFB had supplied 52,369 numbers of the ammunition “K” worth around Rs 39 crore to the Army’s Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) in Pulgaon in August 2015, “when the ban had still not been revoked.” It added that the AHQ is reviewing the use of ammunition that was supplied during the ban period.

Why did OFB supply the ammunition despite ban?

“The OFB justified the continuation of production even after December 2014 on the ground that ammunition were under various states of assembly or finishing i.e. work in progress (WIP) stage as on date of receipt of AHQ’s directions,” the CAG report stated. “Audit is of the view that the OFB should not have supplied ammunition during the ban period, the CAD Pulgaon should not have received the supply and, even if the supply had been received, it should have been isolated and not issued to the user units,” the report stated. The CAG also noted that OFB failed to replace the balance holding of affected ammunition “K” as of July 2018, even as “three years” have passed since the CAD Pulgaon received it. “Further, the proposal for replacement by the AHQ was an indication that the same (ammunition “K”) cannot be used for the intended purpose,” the CAG stated.