Against the backdrop of shortages highlighted by Army Chief Gen VK Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Rajya Sabha that some delays are caused in the procurement as the companies which do not get a particular contract to raise objections and the government takes action into those.
He referred to the controversial Tatra truck deal for the army and said "necessary action" would be taken if any wrongdoing was found in the purchase which is being probed by the CBI. Responding to a member who referred to a letter written by the Army Chief to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighting shortages of ammunition and equipment, he said, "We are facing a very difficult situation in the procurement area."
Noting that "powerful countries are involved, powerful foreign vendors are involved, powerful Indian vendors are involved," he said, "Each one of them wants Indian business. If anybody loses (contract), they can raise objections. So we have to handle it very carefully.
That is why some delay takes place in some cases." On the one side, Antony said, the government has been accused of delaying things, and on the other side, it has been accused of taking action.
"When we take action, there will be some delay. On that account, we have been accused," he said, adding the government has decided to seek advice of CVC and the Law Ministry regarding ongoing projects but did not identify these. "We will take a final decision after getting the advice of the CVC as well as the Law Ministry," he said.