|Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:54 pm Post subject: CAG censures Jalashwa, IAF 737BBJ purchases
TIMES OF INDIA
US-made Jalashwa a lemon: CAG
NEW DELHI: Has the US sold a lemon to India in the shape of the huge amphibious transport warship USS Trenton ?
Yes, says the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) about the 37-year-old ship rechristened INS Jalashwa by Indian navy.
The navy, however, pooh-poohs such talk. "Accountants can pick holes in virtually everything. We got the ship cheap. It gives us immense strategic sea-lift capabilities since it can transport 1,000 soldiers or material over long distances," said a senior officer.
The CAG report holds that since the ship has already outlived a major part of its service life, which is envisaged to be 40 years, the decision for its acquisition 'does not appear to be prudent'. CAG, in fact, notes the US navy was to decommission the 173-metre-long USS Trenton , which entered service in 1971, in 2006 after finding that nothing much could be achieved by further modernization.
India bows to US diktat on ship use
NEW DELHI: In a major policy departure on strategic matters, the government of India has signed restrictive clauses assuring Americans that it would not deploy INS Jalashwa — originally the USS Trenton — for offensive purposes and will allow regular American inspection of the ship.
The damning expose is contained in the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India tabled in Parliament on Friday, which has also said the Navy did not carry out adequate physical inspection of the ship, on which a blast killed six Indian sailors on February 1.
“Aged U.S. warship comes with strings”
IAF 737 BBJs unnecessary: CAG
8 Billion defence spending squandered: CAG
New Delhi: India's audit watchdog has found irregularities of a staggering Rs.8 billion ($199 million) in defence expenditure, saying the money was improperly allocated or should not have been spent at all.
In his report for 2006-07 tabled in parliament Friday, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has faulted the Indian Air Force (IAF) for irregular expenditure of Rs.4.76 billion, the Coast Guard for Rs.2.21 billion, the Indian Navy for Rs.340 million, the Indian Army for Rs.550 million, and the defence ministry for Rs.350 million.
"The cases mentioned in the report are among those which came to notice in the course of audit during 2006-07 and early part of 2007-08 as well as those which came to notice during earlier years but could not be included in the previous reports," the CAG said in his preface.
In the case of the IAF, the CAG termed as "avoidable" the purchase of a third Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) for ferrying VIPs at a cost of Rs.3.12 billion.
Despite spending over Rs.9.97 billion the three aircraft "will not be used for international travel, necessitating the use of Air India aircraft with all its adverse consequences", the report noted.
This apart, the acquisition process "deviated from laid down procedures and well recognised norms of propriety. Supplies valuing $50 million were contracted without the benefit of competition. Besides, the acquisition of the aircraft and self protection suite was inordinately delayed, leading to a total cost escalation of $19.70 million", the report said. The IAF has also been faulted for the "avoidable procurement" of 44 aircraft gearboxes at a cost of 1.64 billion.
In the case of the Coast Guard, the CAG has faulted it to releasing payment of Rs.2.21 billion to a private Indian shipyard for constructing three pollution control vessels as this was "not commensurate with the milestones specified".
"The acquisition process followed by Coast Guard head quarters lacked transparency and deviated from prescribed purchase procedures," the report noted.
The Indian Navy was faulted on two counts. In the first, the CAG found it fault in accepting guns worth Rs.280 million, which was "improper" as the weapon platform was "incomplete" without a proper aiming system. The navy had also wrongly spent Rs.60 million in purchasing spares "even though there was no demand outstanding for them".
The CAG report hauls up the Indian Army for not laying down technical specifications for procuring special clothing for troops deployed on the Siachen Glacier, as a result of which clothing worth Rs.290 million was rejected.
The report also said the procurement of 350,000 superior quality blankets from non-approved sources "at higher rates on grounds of urgency" resulted in extra expenditure of Rs.90 million.
Not only did the blankets not reach the troops in time, but they "were also found to be of inadequate warmth", the report said. It also indicted three lieutenant generals who headed three important army commands for misusing their special financial powers meant for procuring items of operational urgency to purchase goods worth Rs.110 million "which were not meant for operational use".
The CAG also faulted the army for accepting faulty ammunition worth Rs.150 million in two separate deals. The report finds fault with the defence ministry for procuring 209 bullet proof vehicles for Rs.350 million, "of which 200 vehicles were reported defective by the users. "Besides compromising safety, army HQ, citing urgency of requirement, favoured the procurement of vehicles manufactured by a particular firm," the report said.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service
Scandal in the making. The Left and the BJP have got the ammunition they need on a platter. The Left is expected to argue using the "Jalashwa" restrictive clauses on why the nuclear deal should not be signed.