Scam rocks armed forces; Chiefs 'under-fire'

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V K Singh
New Delhi, Jan 12: In yet another embarrassment to the ruling UPA government, this sure looks like the season of scams aplenty. The latest one involves financial irregularities in the canteen of the armed forces.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had summoned the Army, the Air Force and the Navy chiefs to appear before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain their stand. The PAC is headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. Senior army officials gave a presentation on the management of rations before the PAC on Wednesday, Jan 12. 

The CAG who pointed out the irregularities in the canteen supplies said, "The existing procedure for provisioning of dry rations failed to assess the requirement realistically. The failure was mainly due to systemic deficiencies due to which different quantities were worked out at different echelons applying different parameters...."

The report pointed out the existence of "cartels" that was affecting the benchmark set by the canteens.

Both the Army and Air Force Chief's VK Singh and PV Naik respectively were  summoned to appear. VK Singh has already given his views on the issue and the Air Force Chief's meeting is scheduled later in the day. While the Navy will be represented by Vice Chief D K Deewan since Navy chief Nirmal Verma is out of the country on official duties.

The armed forces have however stuck to their stand that the Unit Run Canteens (URC) does not fall under the purview of the PAC, but Air Force Chief Naik also remarked that "We all must remember one thing that we all are subject to Parliament. That is the system of our governance. Nobody is exempt."

The CAG had revealed way back in 2009 in its report that there were irregularities in the procurement and distribution of rations.

OneIndia News
(With inputs from PTI)

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