New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday lamented the sorry state of weapons with the defence forces and claimed that the soldiers in Kashmir were swapping weapons with the ones they seize from terrorists.
“The soldiers of the regiment I served with are now posted in Kashmir and they are swapping their weapons with the ones they seize from terrorists because they like them better. If a soldier doesn't have confidence in his weapon, how can he fight? said Amarinder Singh at News18 Rising India Summit.
It was this very week when the Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Sarath Chand, said that the defence budget had “dashed our hopes”.
Chand said this may end in the foreclosure of 25 ‘Make in India’ Defence projects that are currently in the pipeline.
“Allocation of Rs 21,388 crore for modernisation is insufficient even to cater for committed payments of Rs 29.033 crore for 125 ongoing schemes, emergency procurement and other requirements,” Chand told the parliamentary panel.
He said Armed Forces has “hardly any funds” for modernization in 2019, with 68 percent of the Army’s equipment of vintage category and only 8 percent in the “state of the art” category.
Amarinder Singh did concede that even during UPA time they didn’t make big defence purchases.
“Even in our time (UPA) we didn't make any big defence purchases. The Air Force has been asking for new aircraft, the Navy has been asking for upgrades. You don't have missiles, you don't have ammunition, you are using practise ammunition. This is absurd," said Amarinder.