Lean mean Indian Army: 1,50,000 troops to be cut

New Delhi, Sep 11: The Indian Army is set to cut at least 1,50,000 troops over the next five years in a bid to sharpen effectiveness and also prepare for future wars.

A 11 member panel headed by Lt. Gen J S Sandhu is carrying out the review and would make its preliminary presentation to the Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat. The final report would be submitted in November.

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The reduction in troops is likely to be achieved by revamping different verticals which includes directorates at the Army Headquarters, logistic units, repair facilities and communication establishments.

This massive cut is expected to help the Army save around Rs 7,000 crore and the money would be used to buy weapons. The move comes in the wake of the Army facing a severe fund crunch.

In June it was reported that the Army had placed an order for only 250,000 modern assault rifles despite its total requirement of 800,000 rifles. After Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had presented the budge in March, the Army Vice Chief, Lt General Sarath Chand had said that the allocation for 2018-19 had dashed the hopes of the Army.

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He further said that the marginal increase was barely enough to meet inflation as 68 per cent of the force's equipment falls under the vintage category. He had further told the Parliamentary Panel that the allocation of Rs 21,338 crore for modernisation was way below the committed payments of Rs 29,033 crore.

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