The Comptroller and Auditor General Report of 2015-16, is one that renders the government’s aggressive national security rhetoric moot. Whether it is the equipment shortage for soldiers in Siachen or the long-pending establishment of the Indian National Defence University (INDU),
Along with the unveiling of a new budget every year comes the CAG report that outlines the government’s expenditure at the beginning of a new fiscal year. Based off the 2015-16 report, The Print compiled analytical assessments from various security experts, former military personnel and bureaucrats shed light on the discrepancies between the government’s talking points and ground realities.
This past December, there were similar reports of soldiers being deprived of snow glasses, multi-purpose boots and sanctioned food in high-altitude areas like Siachen.
In The Print’s compilation linked above, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Fellow Abhijit Iyer-Mitra has attributed this to an emphasis on weaponry rather than on human capital in the form of such equipment for soldiers. Expanding upon this, former Army Commander Deependra Singh Hooda deemed this as insensitivity on the part of many officials in Delhi.
Although Retired General Ata Hasnain did highlight these efficiencies, he was sure to clarify that they had little do with the current regime. The delay in the establishing of INDU, the CAG mentioned that the project costs skyrocketed from Rs. 395 crore to Rs. 4,007.22 along with a Rs. 25.58 crore losses arising from lease renewals for defence lands.
However, in response to this current Army chief General M M Narvane tagged this report as outdated by saying that soldiers in Siachen receive clothing worth approximately Rs. 1 lakh.