The Indian Army spent Rs 18,000 crore to add to its firepower, including emergency purchases worth Rs 5,000 crore last year, in the wake of the military tussle with China and increased tensions at the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. In his Army Day address, Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said the procurement worth Rs 5,000 crore was purchased under emergency clauses.
“We purchased material worth Rs 5,000 crore with 38 deals under emergency and fast track scheme which included arms and other material. Other than this, contracts under capital procurement plans worth Rs 13,000 crore were finalised,” Gen Naravane said.
Not just emergency purchases for troops to sustain the harsh winter, welfare steps for families were also taken amid the standoff.
The Army chief said the action in Ladakh named ‘Operation Snow Leopard’ was notified to ensure liberalised family pensions, war injury element and higher ex-gratia to the families of soldiers who were killed or injured in action.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in action and several wounded in June 2020 in Galwan Valley when Indian and Chinese troops were involved in an ugly clash.
Many of the emergency purchases were fast-tracked as the Indian Army prepared to grind it out amid the ongoing standoff with China in Ladakh.
Keeping in mind the massive deployment even during cold conditions, the army stocked on clothing, shelters, tents and other logistics that would help sustain temperatures dipping to -40 degrees.
Special winter clothing and material was also brought in from the US as an emergency procurement before the onset of winter.